I remember the day that I fired the band and locked my door on everyone. I still live in the house that she died in, and her voice echoes throughout these walls in faint whispers. I see her in everything and I can't believe she's not here. One day I started to write again; it was like my mouth was a river and words were pouring out of me. It didn't start to happen until her mother came to my house. I had never met her before, but I could see where Astrid got her delicate features. Unlike Astrid, this woman was icy. She looked at me and smirked, "So you've locked yourself away now that she's gone, have you?"
She walked in without waiting for an answer, heels clicking on the tiles as she looked around at my dusty bookshelves and wine glasses.
"I have something of hers that she would want you to have. One of the things you gave to her, but she left at my place in New York."
She placed a golden hairpin in my hand, pulling her own back quickly so that she would not have to touch me. I had given it to Astrid when we went to San Francisco; she wasn't one for accessories, but I wanted her to have something.
"You remember, don't you?" Her voice purred in her soft accent as she asked me, and I nodded, my vision blurry.
And then she placed a small book on the table. I walked over to pick it up and began flipping through it. It was her diary. It was filled with drawings, poetry, everything. When I looked up to thank her mother, she was gone.
I read about her childhood memories, the things she would never say. There were stories of a girl who was afraid of wolves and hungry things in the dark, about a girl who could not speak unless told to. She wrote about feeling alone in a house with two people who didn't understand her. She started acting because it was the only way she could tell the truth. Suddenly I was seeing her all over again, but in a different way, the world through her eyes. She saw things in vivid colors, the ocean and the smiles people exchanged in taxis. I realized that she had wanted to spend her life with me, but that she was afraid of me. Afraid of what I could do, who I could become.
And then I realized what I owed her. That she needed this story told. She needed her words in music immortalized. I realized that once I did this, I could let go, and join her.