“I’m grateful for what that felt like.” -Marlaina Smith
“You Prefer the Beatles”
Fiction. Based on a True Conversation.
This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional
“Why does Celtic music make you sad?” She asks from the driver’s seat, going 70 mph on the highway close to your home town. Her eyes don’t leave the road, but you know what they are saying. What she truly means, what her eyes would give away, is ‘why did you leave yourself behind?’
The radio was playing the most popular hit of the day – possibly by Ed Sheeran but you prefer Alex Turner, so it all sounds the same to you.
Your mind has drifted to the days when your fingers danced on thin strings of silver and gold, the black wood staining your fingertips. The violin sat on your shoulder as if it was made to love you only.
Fiddle music requires nimble fingers and quick reflexes so you’d play all day long with no breaks, not that you wanted any anyway. Your heartbeat danced to the jigs you played.
Is this what love feels like, you wonder as you play a song called ‘Highland Spirit’.
The song on the radio changes to something else you don’t know and she slows down the car to take the nearest exit. You don’t notice. You’ve fallen into your own memory so all you hear is her soft breathing. Maybe it was the air conditioner. This summer’s day was unusually hot.
“There is no room in this world for a Celtic fiddelist. You play Classical or nothing at all,” you say slowly.
11 years ago, you fell deeply in love with the fiddle.
“And who told you that?”
You don’t respond; instead, you reach to change the radio station to only be greeted by Coldplay, you think. You prefer The Beatles.
“I have never heard you play the fiddle, the only violin,” she says softly and quietly, almost sad enough for you to notice.
You look out the window to avoid her gaze. The air was getting heavy and you need to remind your lungs to breathe. The humid, green air passes you by outside the window.
“Do you love me?” you think you hear her whisper.
She pulls into your driveway right as the song changes again. You turn to her and kiss her gently. You smile and so does she, but it doesn’t reach her soft brown eyes. In hindsight, you don’t think it reached yours either.
As soon as you are inside, you run to your room, saying a breezy hello to your family. In a few moments, you spot the instrument case where your violin sleeps. You open it slowly and are greeted with the smell of wood and limen oil. The violin doesn’t appear dusty, rather polished and clean.
You pluck a string. The violin says “hello my love.”
But while the instrument says hello, you say good-bye. You place her back down into the case.
You’re not ready. You’re not ready.
You lock the violin in its case, with it a part of yourself. You seal your fate as soon as you turn the key and love slips from your fingertips.