So, in my last post I showed y'all a piece of a story I'd been working on. Well, on Wednesday night I finished it. Well... Almost. It still needs a bit of finalizing, and I'm gonna see if someone can proof read it for me.
Anyway, here it is.
The Beginning. The End.
“So, what is it like?”
“What is what like?”
“Come on… You’re one of the most well known people on the planet. That has to affect you somehow.”
I sighed and nodded.
“Yeah, I suppose it does.” I told her.
I blinked and looked at her.
“How does that affect you!?” She said.
“Oh… I dunno. I ignore it, mostly.”
“What? Why? You’re famous! Don’t you ever go out just to see the looks on people’s faces when they see you? Doesn’t it feel good to have thousands of adoring fans, waiting to see what you do next? People constantly wanting to know what you’re doing, who you’re with.” I looked at her and blinked.
“Think about that for a moment.” I said. She looked confused.
“Ok…” She said curiously.
“Do you enjoy peace and quiet occasionally?”
“Well, I enjoy my peace and quiet too, which is why I ignore my fame, even dislike it.”
She looked at me, still looking confused.
“I’m not making the connection.”
I groaned and shook my head.
Quietly walking, I had some time to think. Though, maybe walking through a crowded city street wasn’t really that quiet, but for me, it was close enough. I had so much going on in my life now. Work was exhausting; the store had been real busy lately. Then, there was my music. I still couldn’t believe that someone had given me a record deal, and because of it, I was working on a whole lot of songs and all sorts of other promotional things. All this had kept me away from seeing Harmony. I stood in front of her apartment building and opened my cell phone and called her.
“Hey, I’m downstairs.” I told her.
I waited down on the sidewalk. I was so tired, and frankly I felt crappy. Harmony came down and gave me a peck on the cheek as she said hello. She took my hand and we started walking. She looked over at me, smiling softly.
“So, how are you?” She asked. I could tell by the tone of her voice that she was concerned. I could tell by how she held my hand, and how she smiled at me that she knew I was exhausted. I was quiet for a while, and then shrugged a little.
“I’m ok…” I said softly. She frowned and rested her head on my shoulder. She squeezed my hand gently.
“I love you…” She whispered. In those three words I found comfort, knowing she was with me put me at ease. I smiled and kissed her.
“I love you too.”
“I’m still not sure I understand what you mean? What is it that you don’t like?”
“Never mind… Just forget about it for now.”
She shifted awkwardly in her seat, which made me laugh.
“All right… Moving along to the next question then. What do you think was the biggest turning point in your career as a musician?”
“The biggest turning point?” I asked.
I was quiet for a moment as I thought.
“August 8th, 2010. That day was my biggest turning point.”
“Why? What happened on that day?”
“That’s when I first started realizing that I hate this fame of mine.”
I looked up at her and saw her furrow her brow.
“What made you realize that? What was so special about that day that made you realize you hate your fame?”
“Because… That was the day that she left.”
“So… Where do you wanna go?” I asked quietly. After deciding on where to go, we went down into the subway tunnel and waited for the train. The subway tunnels were always interesting; it seemed almost like a different city, just a dozen or so feet under the surface. So many people. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted a performer sitting near a wall with his guitar. I sighed quietly as I looked at the kid.
“Are you all right?” I heard Harmony ask me.
“That kid doesn’t know how good he’s got it.” Before she could really reply or ask me what I mean our train arrived. We quickly got aboard and sat down. I looked around at the people on the train, tilting my head to the side a bit. I remembered when this train was a part of my regular route. I remembered the Spanish woman and her five children who were sitting across from us; her kids seemed so much bigger now though. I remembered the old Orthodox Jewish couple that would be on the train; only the old woman was there now. I hoped her husband was all right.
“Nick…” I heard. I looked over at Harmony. I realized the change in her expression now. I could see the concern in her eyes. I forced a sad smile and kissed her cheek.
“I’ll be fine.”
“When you say ‘she,’ you mean…”
“Harmony Fukazawa.” I said.
“Oh… What did ever happen to her? Do you know?” I looked down.
“As far as I know, she’s back in New York now.”
“A lot of your female fans were quite jealous of her, if I recall.” She said, laughing quietly.
“What happened between the two of you?”
“Well… I started paying too much attention to my work, and I stopped paying enough attention to her, and myself.”
“What do you mean?”
“When she left… She said that she didn’t want to stand by and watch me as my work slowly ate away at me.”
“You were ignoring your health?” She asked.
“Well… Not exactly. I was eating enough, and getting enough sleep.”
“What was she worried about then?”
As we sat in the diner, I glanced over my menu at Harmony and smiled slightly. I looked back at my menu.
“Nick…” I heard her say. I looked up at her and raised an eyebrow.
“Back in the subway, you said something about that performer not knowing how good he had it. What did you mean?” She asked me, that concerned look coming back again. I frowned and set my menu down on the table. Running my fingers through my hair.
“I’m… Not entirely sure myself. It’s just that, ever since getting this contract, I feel like I have no time for anything but my music, and work. I miss having time to just go and play my music in the subway, in the park, on the street,” I sighed sadly and looked out the window.
“I miss being able to spend time with you…” I felt her put her hand over mine and squeeze it gently. I looked at her for a moment, and she smiled at me as she squeezed my hand again.
“Are you gonna be ok?” She asked me kindly.
“I think so… Maybe once the CD is finished,” I said quietly, now starting to rub her hand.
“So… She was worried about your health… But not your health?” I sighed.
“I’ll put this simply, and maybe even slightly biblically. She was afraid that my business with music was beginning to slowly chew away at my soul; it wasn’t my body she was afraid of. My body is only a part of who I am.”
She was obviously surprised by that.
“That is when she left then?”
“And… What did you do after she left?”
“I slowly became more reclusive. I have, at this point, all but stopped writing music, and I only do occasional concerts.” I told her.
“Why do you still do your concerts?”
“Because… I feel some obligation to my fans. They’ve been good to me, I don’t think I can rightly stop doing music without considering my fans.”
We sat and ate our food, exchanging small touches and smiles occasionally. The longer I spent with her, the easier it was to just forget about all the other things; about finishing recording, actually finishing some of the songs and all that. There was so much to do. Being with Harmony made me relax though.
“So, Nick. When is the release party again?” She asked me suddenly.
“May 10th.” I replied. “Why?”
“I just want to make sure I’ll be able to be there.” She told me as she took my hand again and smiled at me. That brought a smile to my face. Knowing that she would be there was a big relief for me. Being surrounded by studio executives, and various other people, including some famous people, didn’t sound like… Fun. More like stressful. With Harmony there, I knew there would be at least one person I could talk to comfortably. I looked up at Harmony and smiled at her.
“Thank you, Harmony…” I said quietly. She tilted her head curiously.
“For what?” She asked.
“For staying with me.” I told her.
“What, did you think I wasn’t going to?” She said jokingly.
“That isn’t what I meant. You’ve helped me through all this, that’s what I mean.” I said, sticking my tongue out at her. She smiled at me, then leaned over and kissed me on the cheek.
“Well Nick, it’s been… Interesting being able to talk to you, thank you for your time.”
“You’re welcome Helen.” I said with a chuckle.
“Maybe you could come back again sometime, I’m sure it’d be…”
“Interesting?” I said, at which we both laughed. After the cameras were off, I stood up and started to leave.
“Mister Winsley, just a moment please.” I heard.
“Yes, Helen?” I said. She looked at me for a moment.
“She really meant a lot to you, didn’t she?” She asked. I chuckled.
“She still does, Helen.” I said softly.
“Have you seen her since then?” I shook my head.
“No… I’ve been embarrassed to go see her, to even talk to her.”
“Well… If it matters at all, I think you should go see her. I think that what she was worried about isn’t a problem anymore.” She told me. I smiled at her a little bit and started walking away. I paused a moment and looked back at her.
“You know, maybe I’ll take you up on that offer to come back on the show.”
After that, I turned and continued walking.
Harmony and I came out from the subway tunnel and onto her street. She was smiling happily as she held my hand, swinging it back and forth a little as we walked. I looked over at her and smiled. Everything seemed a bit lighter now then when I had first gone to meet with her, it seemed that was what happened when I spent enough time with her.
Once we were in front of her apartment building, she turned and took my other hand and smiled at me.
“So, I’m going to see you tomorrow night. I’m making you dinner, since you decided to try and skip your birthday last week.” She said, sticking her tongue out at me. I smiled.
“All right, that sounds nice. I’ll see you tomorrow then.” She went up on her tiptoes and kissed me on the cheek, then turned to go into the building. I turned and started walking down the street when I heard her calling after me.
“Nick!” By the time I had turned around, she had her arms around my neck and she kissed me. After a moment, she pulled away and smiled at me.
“I love you.” She told me. I reached up and touched her cheek gently.
“I love you too.” I said before kissing her once more.
May 10th, 2009.
I walked out of the elevator holding Harmony’s hand. We walked down the hall and to the front door of her apartment. I looked at Harmony and smiled brightly.
“Thank you for coming tonight, it was great to know you were with me.” I told her. She hugged me, resting her head on my chest.
“You’re welcome. I was happy to be with you, and I’m happy for you. You’ve finally released a CD.”
“Yeah… Now I get to worry about whether it’ll sell.” I said, laughing quietly. She looked up at me and smiled.
“I’m sure it’ll sell.” She said reassuringly. “You do good stuff.” I laughed and put my arms around her.
“Thanks. Its nice to know that I have a loyal fan already.” I said jokingly. I stood there with her for a while, thinking.
“You know… This is pretty big.” I said. She looked up and smiled a little.
“Yep. Think you can handle it?” She asked. I laughed.
“I dunno. Think you could handle going out with someone who has thousands of adoring fans, some of which want to get in his pants?” I asked. She laughed quietly and kissed me.
“Good night, Nick.” She said.
“Good night Harmony.” I replied. She leaned up and kissed me again. We stayed like that for a little while, then finally stopped and looked at each other.
“I love you, Nick.”
“I love you too, Harmony.”
May 10th, 2011.
“Hello, this is Helen Cartwright, what can I do for you?”
“Hi Helen, it’s Nick Winsley.”
“Nick! It’s good to hear from you. What can I do for you?”
“Well Helen, I was wondering if I could come on your show again.”
“Oh? I’d be glad to have you back. Let me look at my calendar… Tell me, is there any particular reason you want to come back on the show, Nick?”
“Yeah… I want to announce my retirement, and, my engagement.”