Jessica and The Love Bandits.

Written in response to: Write a story about somebody in love with someone from their past.... view prompt



"Now presenting: Jessica and The Love Bandits!" The host says and motions at us. I file to my set of drums and see Jessica take the microphone. She looks so happy the song we're singing is Juggling Cards. It's about life struggles and how hard love can be. She looks so pretty in her glittering neon purple dress and the smile on her face when she sings. How emotional she is about the song. And then I'm back to reality. Just a flashback, a memory of a better time.

When Jessica was alive.

Now, I'm weeping and leaving and leaving her flowers on her grave. I cry harder once the flashback ends. That was a year ago. Jess died two months ago. We were dating, and I knew she had cancer. I knew she was going to die soon. But I thought we had more time. I thought it wasn't a problem anymore. I was wrong. The doctors were wrong. Well, a month before she died they were wrong. And now, she was gone. I could have saved her. I was her love bandit. But not only did I steal her free time and love, but her life.

It felt like it was my fault. Like I had done something wrong. I knew I didn't, but it felt that way. I felt lost without her. Like there was no other way I could live. Seeing that memory reminded me how passionate she was about music. How much she loved singing. How much she loved me. How much I miss her. How I miss the smile she had when she wrote music in that blue and gold notebook. The notebook she pressed into my hands. And said, "I love you." In her dying breath. Her dying act. Her last smile.

I hated thinking about that. I hated that memory. I read the notebook every night. It helps me sleep. It was a journal of sorts. It does not leave my bedroom. Ever. I keep it sealed up tight in a plastic bag. No food or drink before touching it, unless it's water. No reading aloud. There are many rules I have before reading it. I snuck it out of the hospital. I'm pretty sure her family doesn't know it even exists. I don't think she used it in front of them. I wish she was still here to sing me these songs.

But I know that's impossible. I know it will be my entire life before I'm fine. When I know I don't need to have her. I'll be on my deathbed. Not a day passes where I don't think of her. Not a single minute. The happiest moments come. I feel happy, but not with her being dead. In this grave, that I visit all the time. In this grave rotting away. I miss her. I want to dig her up, slap her in the face and have the life smacked back into her.

To hear her sing and laugh and say, "I love you" softly one more time. What I would give to see her, hear her one more time. Everything. My home, my job, my savings, my own life. But I know that's impossible. I only wish you could trade a life for a life. I know before it happens it's impossible. I can only wish for this nightmare I now have to call my daily life to end. I go to support groups and therapy. I know people can feel the same way I do, but it doesn't help.

The only way I can heel is with her, and that will never happen. I can't hold her. I can't hear her. I can't see her. The notebook for the bandits is the last thing I have. I will protect it with my life. No one can replace Jessica. She was special. Maybe I'll fall in love again. Maybe I will love someone like Jessica. Maybe her name will be Jessica. Maybe we'll restart the band in her honor. Sing the songs she wrote. But I know for sure, I'm going to keep putting one foot in front of the other.

I'm going to keep trying and I will get back up. Be the person Jessica wanted me to be. I know that she's dead. I can't change that. But I can honor her. I'm going to keep trying. Harder and harder. Pushing and pushing. Trying and trying and trying to be perfect for her. I'm going to try. I'm going to keep going for her. To be like her. To be the person I know she would want to be. I know that this is who she wants me to be. I dry my tears. Sometimes it feels good to cry. Even if the shoulder you cry on isn't there.

I breathe in and out slowly. Then I put my hands in my jacket and start walking. Sometimes, walking is the best way to clear your head. I get into my car, click my seat belt and go home. Then I get home, make myself some dinner. I watch some television. I take a hot shower and go to bed. I read the journal. The lyrics are like they're calling out to me. I put them together. And then, one of the lyric lines reminds me of something she said once. I smile and I shut the journal and start crying.

I cry into my pillow. A song starts to form in my head, and I go to bed listening to a song she started. Before I'm completely asleep, I know that I have to finish the song. I'm going to make it the best song. Not everyone had to hear it. But I know the proper way to honor her is to make this song, no matter what. Jessica and the Love Bandits. Maybe just one bandit, finishing it for Jessica. Jessica would be honored. This love bandit wasn't going to stop because Jessica was in the past.

March 17, 2022 16:26

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