How could you ask me to forget her?
With my heart in my hands and knees in the dirt.
How can you expect me to get rid of the things that bring her to my
Can I do away with the night? I begged and I cried
The flickering stars?
Can I erase the moon Illuminating my scars?
and I’ll do it,
tell me, and it will be done
My heart has darkened, aching for the warmth of the sun
Please, do not ask of me the impossible, please, understand why
You remember that night- don’t you? That night where everything felt too good to be true, where every breath felt effortless and the conversation came easy? The night where we left all of our baggage at the port of Florida, escaped the weight of America and entered international waters? You ordered your first drink that night. You ordered a few drinks that night. My favorite drink was the Bahamas Mama, do you remember how it tasted?
To forget her means to forget the sky.
The night began with a steady hymn of the ship’s engine over the Atlantic. It was like a supersized rocking chair. And yet, no one was sleeping. In fact, there were hundreds of activities taking place all over the four-story vessel, one of which was karaoke. You loved karaoke. So you let your dark lion hair fall to your breasts, put on a satin dress shirt, a bow tie, and navy blue shorts. You were a whole vibe that night. So was I, with my shimmering pink dresses that stopped above my knees and ombre braids that swayed at my hips. I remember, before we even left our room, you whispered; “I can’t wait to take you out of that dress later.”
Finally, after getting lost in the dancehall, stalling at the open bar, and navigating through the maze of the casino, we found ourselves on the ship deck. That’s when we heard the loud music followed by the off-key singing.
Our eyes met unanimously and yours lit up profusely. “KARAOKE!” we screamed.
You grabbed my hand and led me past the blur of passengers. By this point, I knew I was staggering, maybe you were too. Neither of us cared and I knew I would’ve let you lead me anywhere.
We found the sign-up sheet and you hovered over it so I wouldn’t see what song you wrote. I laughed and shoved you playfully with no actual desire to know what song you chose. Then we found two chairs near the small platform stage they set up for the performers. A waitress came by and took our drink orders. Before we knew it, your name was being called on the speaker that seemed to surround us. You flashed your vibrant smile for the hundredth time that night. Then you asked me to hold your drink.
“It might not be here when you get back,” I chuckled and you shrugged, already giddy to get onstage.
The music started and I almost erupted in laughter. You chose “You Belong With Me” by Taylor Swift! Do you remember that? I always wanted to ask you why you chose that song above others. I wish I asked.
I don’t know if it was the way you were pointing at me and owning the stage or if it was your horrible singing, but I somehow ended up right next to you on stage, singing and dancing. I can’t even remember if the crowd was cheering us on or dismissing the clearly drunk teenagers screaming into one mic. I could only see us.
We sang and you did not miss a beat. You didn’t even need the screen. Between verses, you kissed my hands and my neck. I could not stop giggling. The world could have been judging us and I still wouldn’t have been able to hide my glee. It was a beautiful moment that I will carry with me forever, but it was what happened next that pierced my heart.
You scurried off to buy more drinks and an elderly woman made her way to the stage. She was very pale, wrinkled, and her hair was a mixture of grey and black.
“This is for you, my love.” She spoke to an elderly man who found a seat next to me. He blew her a kiss, showcasing a golden wedding band.
I was taken back by how youthful and wholesome the woman’s voice sounded. Right away, I was mesmerized.
“Some say love, it is a river, that drowns the tender reed
Some say love, it is a razor, that leaves your soul to bleed
Some say love, it is a hunger, an endless aching need
I say love, it is a flower, and you, its only seed…
Each word danced around in my head like a modern ballerina. Her voice, the movement of the ship, and the alcohol digesting in my liver were all too much to bear. Tears began to well up in my eyes, lingering for a moment before racing down my cheeks.
Its the heart afraid of breaking, that never learns to dance
Its the dream afraid of waking, that never takes the chance
Its the one who won’t be taken, who cannot seem to give
And the soul afraid of dying, that never learns to live…
I wanted to go find you, to share the moment with you, but I was fairly certain my legs had melted into the floor. I was mentally stuck, physically drunk, and uncontrollable sobbing. This was the happiest moment of my life.
When you found me crying, without even thinking, you gave the drinks to a couple behind us. Then you scooped me into your arms and guided me to these straw-designed hammocks that overlooked the ocean. Before we sat, you hugged me. It was one of those tight hugs that you didn’t wanna break away from, those hugs that sometimes led to lovemaking. In that instance, it made me cry even harder.
“I love you,” you sang into my ear, “I love you so much. I love you so much it hurts. Do you hear me?”
I couldn’t find my voice but the tears kept coming. I did manage to raise my head and was greeted by a billion stars in the sky. They were so visible, so captivating. Each star winked at me as if they were all trying to communicate. It was the blanket of stars that calmed me down and I could breathe again.
“Babe,” I mumbled, “look.”
You followed my gaze and a chuckle escaped your lips. “Beautiful, isn’t it?”
“Yeah,” I agreed in complete awe.
“I could think of something more beautiful.”
We made out, right there, under the stars. We almost didn’t make it back to the room. And the whole time, my mind was replaying that song over and over.
When the night has been too lonely and the road has been too long
And you think that love is only for the lucky and the strong
Just remember in the winter, far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed, that with the sun’s love in the spring becomes the rose.”
You remember that night, don’t you? Because I do. Every second. When the night rolls in, it brings with it the desire to return to that moment in time.