My favourite song used to be the theme from Titanic. I would plant my feet between the rails of the balcony of our little second story two-bedroom apartment, lean my hips against the rail and spread my arms and sing.
Once more, you open the door...
I wanted to be just like her. I wanted to sing songs that people would dance to. Songs that could bring people to tears. Songs that could break your heart and put it back together piece by piece.
Even now as I step to the edge of my twentieth story balcony of my thirteen-room penthouse, I am that little girl. The wind whips my long, strawberry blonde hair around my face, and I release a strand that has caught in my mouth. I rest my hips against the guard rail, but this time I look down. The city stretches as far as the eye can see, the lights of the buildings and the traffic like busy little stars dancing below my feet.
"The pressure was too much", they will say. "Fame ruined her life." "Those famous people are all on drugs." "She had everything, why wasn't she happy?"
It's the question I asked myself when I finally got a recording contract. I asked it again when my song was on the radio for the first time. When I was being interviewed on television, and when I won the music awards. I have everything. Why am I not happy?
I slide my legs over the railing and perch on the edge, the world sways dizzyingly below. My left shoe slips off and drops 20 stories to the ground below. I don't even hear the sound it makes when it lands. I wonder what sound my skull will make when my body hits the ground. I grin, thinking I could write a fantastically depressing song with this feeling. I can picture all my fans starting to dress in black and pierce their eyebrows. Perhaps I have been in the wrong genre this whole time. Then again there isn't much market for a sweet country girl singing heavy metal.
"Lexi? Oh my god."
It's Charlie. Good, a witness is good. Then again, what if people start to think she pushed me? Or what if she is traumatized forever?
"Lexi, you have so much to live for. Please come back inside. Think of your fans."
I laugh, long and loud. It starts to sound crazy, even to me. My fans are the reason I'm here on the edge of a balcony. I used to thank them for everything they had done for me. Without them, I never would have been famous. And now, somehow I blame them for betraying me. But they never loved me or even my singing. They only loved the idea of me. The perfect person. Lexi Dalton. I hate that b*tch.
They'll be sad after I'm gone. I'll make the 6:00 news, and they might have a nice tribute or two. Then they'll fall in love with someone else. The ones that haven't already.
"Okay, that was a bad example. Think of your family. Think of your friends. Think of all the places you've never seen. All the things you wanted to do. You wanted to try skydiving, right?"
I make a gesture that says,"I'm about to try it right now without the parachute."
"In your song you said you wanted to fall in love before you die."
"Yeah, that's a stupid song. I didn't even write that line."
Charlie looks happy that I'm at least talking now. Suddenly I worry that she might find a way to talk me out of this. But I can't go back inside. I can't do this for one more day, one more hour, one more minute.
I can't make her understand. She's starting to cry. Actresses.
"Stay for me, Lexi. You are the only person I trust in this godforsaken city..."
She keeps talking to me. I know she is stalling, but the things she are saying still sound nice. I notice a cell phone in her hand. Sirens sound in the distance. I am running out of time.
"I'm sorry, Charlie. This is just something I have to do. Thanks for trying."
And with that, I push off.
My heart will go on...