My voice sings for you,
A million different words
That only I know are real.
My voice sings for you,
A million different emotions
That only my heart can feel.
My voice sings for you,
All of these words and emotions
And as you listen
You know they are true.
The painting was finally done. I had left it for a night, and it was nearly finished drying. I was actually pleased with it. In all my life I had never really been fully pleased with any of my work ,but this one was different. I had captured the emotion, the love, and the vibrancy. It was truly us. And, even though it was painted, from a photograph, it was so, so real. When I looked at it I didn’t want to look away. I didn’t want the moment to ever end. I could only hope that he would feel the same when he looked at it too.
I was still having trouble with the song though. I knew what I wanted to say, I just didn't know how to say it. It worked it the painting. I had painted not just the image, but my emotions in with it. This song had to include them too, written between the lines.
I sat down, thinking about what I could include within the song. I thought about how when he was with me, I never wanted him to leave. How I wished I could hold onto him tight, forever, never letting go of him. How when he had to go at last I would cling to him, reluctant to let his departure follow. This was a good place to start. I got up, approaching my piano, and sat before it on the small piano seat in front of it. I traced the shape of the keys with my fingers until they fell onto the starting note that would let the rest of the song follow on from. D. That was the note I would start with, and the one I would finish with. That was the note that would secure my emotions and feelings within the song.
“I don’t ever want to let go…” I sang with the notes, chords and patterns forming beneath my fingers. I didn't like the words though. There was something not quite right about them. I tried again, thinking about the physical actions I made when he would turn to leave. “I hold onto you, but I don’t want you to go…”
It still wasn’t right. I mixed the words up ion my head, singing them out of order, the wrong way round, and switching between phrases. At least, with a sequence of chords and words in my mind, I began. “I’m holding onto you, and I don’t wanna let go…”
I liked it. I ran out of the room, coming back a few seconds later with an empty notepad and a pen. I scribbled down the music I had just come up with, and retreated back to the keys to get something more out of them.
“You’re hand is warm, holding mine, you’re smile fixes in my mind.” The song sounded so soulful, so full of emotion that I wrote it down at once. But it wasn’t right for an introduction. That part would be included in the middle somewhere, between different odes for him, all with the same meaning, but laced with different poetry.
I carried on writing for several more hours, only pausing occasionally when someone entered the room. I was shy with my singing voice, not wanting it to be heard by anyone else, and so when there was someone else present I immediately closed up, silenced until they had gone again. I wished I could be more confident with my voice, but it was getting there that was the problem.
I thought again, this time about what I wanted from the relationship, and what I didn’t want. I knew that I didn’t want him to leave. Or to turn away from me, thinking as if I didn’t exist. I didn’t want him to change, or lose his feelings, or even let go of me.
“Don’t ever change you mind, about how you feel…Don’t ever turn away, from what is real…” the words were coming easier now. The more I thought about it, the more it all made sense. I knew what I wanted. I knew what I didn’t want. All I needed to do was to write it down so that it flowed to the music.
I had got all of the verses written when I realised that I did not have any physical features belonging to him included in my song. They were what had attracted me to him in the first place. His eyes, and how they had hypnotised me, and they way he shone so brightly, like the sun…again, the words were there again, and I only had to write them down for it all to fit into place.
After a few finishing touches, I had the song completed. It had taken two and a half hours, less time than the painting, but with a lot more effort. I recited it to myself once more, before leaving it for the day. I would have time to practice later. For now I just needed a rest.
The day of our six month anniversary was here at last. I had my presents for him prepared with me. We were going out to a restaurant, one of his choice, and then we would be going back to mine to stay over for the night. I had arranged it that way as then I could perform my song for him in the comfort of my own music room. It would be hard enough for me to perform as it was, and I needed as much comfort as possible. I knew that he wouldn’t laugh at my voice, or reject me from it, but I was still scared. I had performed in front of people before, hundreds of them for school concerts, but nothing was as scary as performing for that one person, the one I was so eager to impress still, despite my status.
He approached me as I got out of my car, and threw his arms around me. “Happy six month anniversary!”
“Happy six month too!” I beamed, wondering how I had managed to get so far in such a perfect relationship.
As he pulled away from me again, he pulled out a rose that he was holding and positioned it in front of me, letting me take it from him. “For you.”
“Really?” I took the rose from him, and held it in one hand, as he took the other in his own.
“Of course. It wouldn’t be for anyone else now, would it?”
I laughed. We walked up to the restaurant, hand in hand, and he laughed with me, enjoying the moment.
The restaurant had been a lovely surprise. Although it sounded sexist I had expected it to be a fairly basic one, being his choice, but once in there I was astounded by how upmarket it really was. I had not been in such a restaurant except with my family, who always chose the best ones they could find. We had a table specially reserved for us in the middle of the seating area, lit only by a red candle and the lights that were hanging from various points in the ceiling. It was romantic looking, and I was impressed by his choice of venue.
We ordered our meals, and ate them with no faltering during our conversations. Everything about the evening was positive; the rose, the restaurant, the food and the company. There was nothing that I could complain about. It was such a contrast to the treatment I had got used to receiving from before. Our meal went slowly, how I liked it, and after it had finished I remembered what would be approaching soon after. My song, that I had to perform. I had almost forgotten about it during the meal. I had practised a lot, after writing it, but I was still unsure as to whether it would be any good or not. As long as he paid attention the meaning, rather than quality of performance, then I would be alright.
Once home, I tried my best to delay my performance. We watched a film together first. We sat and talked in my room for a while. I used my best distraction techniques, but after a while he sat me down and simply said, “So, what about this thing you promised me then?”
I couldn’t refuse him. He had that look in his eyes, the one that made me so intent to please him.
“Well…there’s two. I’ll show you the first one now.” I walked out of the room, and returned with the brightly painted canvas in my hand.
“Wow…” He paused, not knowing what to say. “I love it. Did you really paint that?”
“Yeah, I did. Are you sure you like it?”
“Of course I do! It’s amazing. Thank you.” He kissed me on the lips, but then pulled back again after a couple of seconds. “What’s the second thing then?”
“Silly,” I joked around for a while, hoping it would distract him. “You can’t just be happy with one thing, can you?”
“Hey! Come on, what is it? If it’s from you then I’m sure it’s incredible.”
“Well…Oh, it’s too scary!”
“You’ve got me something scary?” He looked puzzled.
“No, no…it’s scary for me. It’s just…I wrote you a song. But, you know what I’m like with my voice…I’m not sure I really want to perform it…”
“A song? Wow. Please perform it!”
“But…Can’t I just give it to you in writing?”
“No, it won’t be the same that way. Come on, please?” He saw the look of almost fear across my face. “Look, you’ll sing it fine. I know that you will. Trust me. You can take your time, but I know it will be better if you do perform it. I love you, you’re amazing.”
“Thanks.” I took a deep breath, and edged over to the corner where my piano was. I lifted the lid, fingers trembling slightly, and began to play a series of notes, trying to build my confidence up.
“Go on,” he whispered, “Play it for me.”
I looked at him, and then down at the keys. The piece was in front of me, on the stand, ready to be sung. I took another deep breath, and then opened my mouth to sing.
“Don't ever change your mind, about how you feel.
Don't ever turn away, from what is real.
I'm so far past changing, but I wouldn't for the world.
And sometimes I wonder, why not any other girl?
Your eyes, they hypnotise me.
And when, I hold you close,
I think about, everything, with you and me.
And it doesn't ever end.
I'm holding onto you, and I don't wanna let go.
Your hand is warm, holding mine, your smile fixes in my mind.
But still, I think to myself,
What did I do, to get,
My own sun, shining brighter.
Never fading into night.
What I thought was real,
has never felt as real as this.
And what I thought was love,
Has never felt as strong as this.
All I want now,
Is nothing else, but to lie with you,
Wrapped, beneath your arms.
I'm holding onto you, and I don't wanna let go.”
“Really?” I had made a couple of mistakes during my performance, and my voice was not exactly perfect, but he didn’t seem to care. He ran towards me, and embraced me in his warm, outstretched arms.
“Thank you. I love you so much. Seriously, thank you. It was truly amazing.”
“You think so?” I wasn’t sure whether he was just saying so he didn’t upset me, or if he actually meant it. I decided to believe him, just this once, as it was easier for both of us. I knew he would just think I was silly if I refused to listen to what he had to say.
“Really. I loved it. That was the best present you could have ever given me.” He held me tight, and we sat together on that piano stool until near enough midnight. The song carried on in my head, as did the emotions I had put into it. Every last one of them were true.