I look at the screen of my phone. It’s July calling. It’s 2 am. Something has got to be wrong. I put my guitar aside and grab the phone quickly. “Hey love, everything ok with you?” “Hey Lucy, sorry I’m calling that late. But I need your help.” “No, no it’s fine. I was awake anyway. What’s wrong?” “I’ve made some mistakes and I don’t know what to do. I feel like such a bad person. I can’t go on like this anymore, but I don’t know what I shall do. People are going to hate me. But it already went on for too long like this….” “July, July, July … wait a second. What’s the matter? I can’t help you, if you don’t tell me what the main problem is.” “It’s Alex. I don’t love him.” Alex is her boyfriend. They are the perfect couple in the eyes of everybody I have ever talked to. “Oh! …. You never have?” “No …. I don’t know. Maybe I have, but now I can’t tell anymore.” “Since when do you know?” “Can’t really tell. For a long time already. Winter just wasn’t my season.” Winter! That’s a long time. It’s early summer. “So why didn’t you break up with him?” “I wanted to, but then there was the accident and I didn’t know how to tell him. And everybody was expecting me to help him get through this. And Alex … Urgh, Alex was telling me every day how happy he was that I was there. I just couldn’t.” Alex was involved in a big car crash early December. It was a big shock for us all. For a short moment we thought we lost our friend, but he came back. I remember the moment we were told, that he might not be able to walk again. And we all just looked at July asking ourselves what she would do or say. I tried to get eye contact with her, but she just stared at the doctor, then she nodded and asked when we could see him. “And Alex? He didn’t realize you didn’t want to be with him anymore?” “Sometimes I thought he knew, but then again he acted like we’re the happiest couple in the world.” “And you knew it the day the accident happened?” “No, about two weeks earlier.” “You should’ve broken up with him right away.” “I know, now it’s only worse.” “July this is about your happiness, if you don’t feel good in this relationship you’ve got to break up with him. And the only thing you seem to be sure about is that you don’t love him and how could you still be with him then. That’s not fair to you or him. Alex is strong, he’ll get over it.” “But what about everybody else? Our friends? Our families? All the people around us? I can already imagine their accusing eyes every time I walk through the doors. I’ll be the girl who left the sad boy who had the big accident and can’t play ball any longer.” “Like they had any right at all to criticize. They don’t know how you feel and if they know they’re all just hypocrites. We’re all here for the very same reason: To be happy. Nobody could be happy like this and everybody who’d tell you they’d stay with him is a liar. And at some point people will stop talking about you and judging your decision.” “Oh I wish I could just skip to that point, or at least go back in time and break up with him before the accident. Or even better stop him from getting into that car.” “But you have to go through all of this, cause you can’t jump the track. We’re like cars on a cable. And you can’t change the past. There’s no rewind button, girl. Life’s like an hourglass, glued to the table. So cradle your head in your hands and then breathe. Just breathe. Life goes on. You keep on breathing and life goes on.” I hear her breathing softly into the phone. Then it’s all quite for a moment. “Thank you Lucy. I feel better now. I’ll call you again tomorrow.” “Bye July.”
She hangs up, but I keep the phone at my ear, staring into the darkness and listening to the silence. The thing that scared her the most seemed to be that people will judge her. But people always judge. Just like today. There was this guy again, that I saw many times before. He’s not that old, maybe 21. I think his name is Brian. But what I know for sure is that people are talking about him. They say he’s got a drinking problem. I’ve heard people talk a lot and judge, but never have I heard anybody say that he needs some help. And more important never have I seen anybody walk to him and just take that flask out of his fist. Everybody knows he’s been down for a while, but nobody is helping. But oh my god, it’s so beautiful when the boy smiles. I wanna hold him, tell him to breathe, concentrate on his breathe so he can see that life will go on if he just keeps breathing. Maybe I should just sing about it. Write a song to tell him and Lucy and everybody who’s feeling down that there’s a light at each end of the tunnel. They may be shouting because they think they’re just as far in as they’ll ever be out, but they need to know that this tunnel has an end. You can’t just turn around while you’re in that tunnel, cause it will lead you nowhere. It’s simply not possible. But you can reach the end of the tunnel. You just got to keep breathing and going on.
I’ve got to get this down on paper. My songs are like my diary, the words that are screaming out loud inside of me and sometimes even threaten me. Presenting this song will be like standing naked in front of a crowed and people are going to judge, but I don’t care. Use my words however you want, but that doesn’t change their true meaning. I’ll just breathe.
It’s 2 am and I’m still awake writing this song.