Da da da da da…

Hey there. How're you doing?

Heh, yeah. That's how most are. "Fine."

Me? I'm just sittin' here. Lookin' at the stars. Thinkin'.

What's that? Oh, nah, you won't find much of that nowadays. Most people my age just go runnin' around trying to be big, screamin' deals like they used to be, or they just wallow in their misery. I do a bit of both, when the time's right, but for now…

Wondering how I got here? Don' worry, I am too. Think it's a rather sordid little affair. Lost a lover. You know the drill, hm? Probably experienced it on your lonesome.

Suppose if ya really wanna know, I can tell ya. Can't say it'll be too interestin', though…

Heh… Let's see…

I think it was May back when it started, few years ago too. I think it was one of my first little gigs, ya know? That make any sense? Ah, lemme see… a band gig? Yeah, that's it. Was kind of a little one-man-band, playing my guitar, singin' a little bit. Wasn't quite the best, which is why I'm out here in front of my apartment building in a run-down little area. Not tryin' to insult ya if ya live here, or anythin', but… well, I think you know what I'm gettin' at. Life's not bad, a'course, but I'm not, ya know, famous, or anything like that. Can't say I'd like to be. I mean, I can stomach other people, but I don't think I could handle rabid fans pounding down my front door every day of the week…

Oh! Sorry, gotten a little bit off-track. Now, where was I? Ah, yeah, the gig. Anyway, the day was hot and pretty dry, but you could see some nasty grey clouds making the long trek about the sky in the distance. Would have been a gig in the rain, which is synonymous with the words "no gig." No one wants to stand out in the rain for an hour just to watch one musician who they've never seen before. Well, at least that's what I thought…

My prediction did come true; took a good forty minutes, during which there was only mild interest from the souls wandering the festival. Ya know, it wasn't really the greatest gig, to be honest, as there were plenty of other larger names around. I was signed to play for around two hours, even if no one came to listen, and even if it rained. It did. The tarp they pulled over my stage was meager, to say the least. It was filled with holes, if I remember correctly; might as well have tried to use a screen door.

I had practically no audience, as I had thought I would.

…You know what? I'm wrong. There was an exception.

There was… there was one girl, standing against the rain, listening to me play. I couldn't quite figure out what was wrong with her. She just stood there, listening, ignoring the rain despite her lack of a coat. Just standing there.

After about twenty minutes of constant rainfall, I got sick of watching her shivering against the cold. I stopped playing, took off my coat, jumped off the stage, wrapped it around her, and hopped back on again. It didn't take long, but it was a profound movement, I feel. Hell, she was the only one who cared enough to stand and listen to my crappy music, so I would spare her no comfort that was within my power to supply. Course, I had no idea who she was. Had never seen her before in my life, yet I was strangely attracted to her.

My gig was up an hour after the rain started, I think. Something like that, was either that or an hour and thirty minutes. I was intrigued by the girl, who had yet to move an inch, and… well, this was a bit awkward, but I felt myself sort if… worried to see if she was alive. Inclined to touch her to see so. Yeah, I know, weird. Even now, I really can't explain it…

...Sorry. Sorry, spacing out a little. I'm bringing up some nasty thoughts along with this. Nah, don't worry, not your fault, I owed myself a trip down memory lane anyway. Why the pain? You'll find out soon. Patience.

Essentially, I asked her if she wanted some lunch. Simple. Effective. Her blush was still able to be made out even with the gray sky, and she said yes. I brought her to a nondescript little diner on a similarly nondescript little corner of the financial district.

…I learned her name. Ella. Was a nice name for a nice, albeit shy, girl. Brown hair, green eyes, not the slightest build in the world but I think she actually looked better for it. Actually, she looked a good deal like… no, never mind…

…Uh… sorry, miss… miss… I didn't catch your name? Not important? Alright, then…

…Where… where was I? Sorry, just a little frazzled. Anyway, I learned that she lived a few blocks away from where we are now, actually. She worked as a sculptor, of all things. And she told me…told me that she'd been admiring me for a while now, but never quite had the guts to meet me in person.

That surprised me, to be honest. I know it's against man-code, but I had a few confidence issues running around my head. Wasn't quite your neighborhood socialite, or anything like that. And interest from the opposite gender was… hit and miss, if you catch my drift. That's all I have to say about that.

As in all good relationships, we slowly learned more and became comfortable around one another. Which was actually quite amazing, as I learned; her personality was similar to mine, but much more so; she was very, very shy. I was attracted to that as well.

I cannot remember what college she went to, but I remember that it was an art college similar to mine. Which sorta made us, in a way, that cliché artist-couple, living together, trying to make it big without being changed by fame. Fame never came, or, yet again, so I thought.

…Sorry for all my pauses, miss. Just a little distressed, as I mentioned I would be. Not a big deal.

I think… the next bit was more than a little bit sordid. She… heh… she gave up the sculpting, eventually, as she realized what I had failed to do: there was no money to be made. Of all things, she made for acting, which strictly contradicted with her personality… and she was a natural. A beauty. Superb. Of course, I already knew that; not necessarily the acting, just in general.

…Aw, damn, gone and bit my lip open. Heh, I'll be fine, don't look so concerned.

After about a year of her acting, she received a callback for a part she had auditioned for, some big part in a big movie that I later learned received similarly big, raving ratings. It hurts me to say it, but I never watched it.

She didn't tell me immediately about the callback; it was going to be a surprise. I had asked her to meet me for dinner earlier that day, and she had planned to tell me then.

I had my own priorities for the dinner. I had planned… planned to propose to her then. She hadn't had any suspicions, even though we were just "randomly" going to an extremely nice restaurant, for the lone reason that she was in a joy-high. Maybe if she had been suspicious, things would have been a little different…

…We met. The restaurant was one of those black-tie-ish ones, as mentioned, and we were dressed for our various occasions. She was… was beautiful. Took about ten minutes to get a seat, but it felt more like an hour, and the meal… the meal felt like it took about a year.

Eventually, she announced that she had something to tell me. A few stray butterflies flitted about (Did we both have the same thing in mind for this dinner?) but they were crushed when her news came down. I kinda grunted, not really realizing exactly what her callback meant, and then...

I got down on one knee, and asked her to marry me.

For about a minute, she didn't say anything, creating a new feeling of fear- fear of rejection. Rectifying it, in a hushed whisper, she said, "The movie's taking place in England. The filming's going to take at least five years to complete."

What happened next? Can't quite say, miss. I was in a bit of a funk. I think…. I think Ella might have just left, left to spare herself the embarrassment. I came home, and she wasn't there.

I don't know why she left without a goodbye. Probably my botched proposal, or perhaps she never did love me. Can't say I blame her, considering how long I've been dwelling on it… what's it been, fifteen years since the loss?

My music eventually became somber, morose, mournful notes, which, as I'm still inclined to believe, made a good number of the neighbors leave and devalued the property. The entire apartment building. Those who moved in after my neighbors were sad saps like myself.

Although you're probably long-past bored with my story, it goes on for just a little longer. My despair was far too much to handle, I felt, and my depression deepened so much that I questioned my existence. I was broke, loveless, talentless, depressed. Didn't turn to drugs except for…one time. I tried to kill myself.

No change of expression? Thought that would nail you. Didn't work, anyway, although the details are fuzzy. Can't remember anything about it. Guess… guess I wasn't even able to do that right. My life's been one big horrible failure.

What? No, I don't think I remember you. You look kinda familiar, though, have we met? Miss? Where are you goin'? Miss?

…Please come back…

Dear Mr. Chambers,

I've visited Milo for the last time. I just can't take the pain of seeing him, hearing him talk about himself, about me. He doesn't remember any of my visits, not a single one. He seems normal enough, I guess, but… he doesn't remember the fact that I saved him. Doesn't remember that when I came into the apartment one last time to see him, he was lying on the ground, practically dead. Would have died if I hadn't called the paramedics.

What's also odd is that he just doesn't seem to recognize me. He remembers most, but it's like his perception of people doesn't work. He even thinks he's back at his apartment building. Nothing triggers recognition!

…I wish I'd never gone off for that movie. I loved him, honestly, really loved the man, but…he'll never know anything about what happened. He was right in the respect that I was embarrassed to see him again after the proposal, but if I had been thinking, I would have said yes, would have…

I left him a book of music to play on his guitar. I'm glad he has it, it's one of his few remaining –faithful- friends, unlike me…

There was one possible moment of recognition; he seemed to be longing for me, once I left; said the words, "Please come back," as I walked out… but perhaps it was just loneliness.

I've moved to England with my fiancée, and can't come back even if I wanted to. Please tell Milo that I love him, still, and that… that I'm sorry.


-Ella Roberts