A Girl, Unknown

Blog, Fiction — By on October 26, 2012 at 9:22 am

A Girl, Unknown

by Emory Skwara

It was dim. She sat on a stool with a beat up acoustic firmly on her lap. Red, blue, and white lights blended on top of her as she pulled out her leather bound journal from her messenger bag. She wore a green and black striped dress, black stockings and a brown jacket. Her wavy blonde hair covered her peaches and cream face as she flipped through the pages of her journal. The tuners tuned with the twist and turn of her left hand. She awkwardly coughed.

It was open mic at The Depot, a tiny coffee shop in the middle of nowhere. Half the audience was musicians on the roster to play, and the other half was random people who were too boring to have a life on a Tuesday night.

“I’ve been using The Depot as a test subject for the songs I write,” she said softly into the microphone. “Some of these songs were only written a day or two ago, so you’ll be my test subjects tonight. Yeah, so, here goes.”

There was an awkward silence, the small iota of anticipation when everyone thinks the exact same thing at the exact same time. I hope she doesn’t suck and embarrass herself. Her voice and playing broke the tension. Her fingers glided and plucked the guitar as if they were a pure extension of her hand. The melody was somber. Melancholy. The lyrics were much darker.

Her voice was a gentle breeze on the face of sorrowful words. It was smooth as silk softly wrapping around a dreary soul. She was a small song bird in the midst of a hurricane. Her heart was down trodden; full of woe and sadness, when by all accounts she should be singing a lighter tune.

She was a bright note in an abandoned coffee shop that couldn’t turn out an audience. Why did she come to play? Her eyes were closed as she sang, her lips inches from the mic hitting the notes perfectly. She must imagine being a star in front of millions. It was okay to be playing for a handful of people. Her day would come.

She finished, incomplete. Her smile, bright and rosy, tried to soften the disappointment she had in herself.

Everyone, suddenly realizing she had finished, clapped with gusto. She said thank you and stepped down. A grunge kid who looked like Kurt Cobain came up after her. His long, greasy hair fell in front of his pimpled face.

He ruined the moment.

Afterward, I stood outside the coffee shop talking with some friends when I saw her exit. I wanted to say something. Maybe a few words of encouragement. Thanks for playing. I didn’t tell her. She walked into the chasm, the street lights polluting the darkness, and vanished, a nameless girl who brought poetry to a heart that felt dead.

Her day wouldn’t come, I realized. Her dream would end like her song.



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