Unexpected encounter with Gerard? Bring it on! Well, maybe...
Even after Monty and I had gone down to the railroad tracks that night, I still wanted to go back. So the next morning, I drug myself out of bed before the sun had risen. I snuck outside into the chilly morning air and pulled my heavy sweatshirt closer to me. I began the quiet walk to the place of my serenity. As much as I loved the heart-pounding feeling of the train passing by me, I loved it even more when it was calm and silent.
Although the lingering darkness was slightly eerie, I didn’t mind. I liked being alone occasionally, and this was just the perfect time to think. I could drift off into yet another dreamlike state if I wanted to. I wasn’t afraid that something was lurking in the shadows. I didn’t fear anything in this small town. It was my very own safe haven. It wasn’t as if there was too much crime, anyway. I crossed the mostly quiet main road. A few people were up at this ungodly hour of the morning. I normally would have laughed at the fact that people can get by on so little sleep, but I was doing the same thing. Monty and I had been out until almost one in the morning. And that was only less than four hours ago.
Even though I wanted to make my time alone last, I wanted to view the sunrise from the tracks. I took the shortcut behind some buildings and through an alley. The air was crisp and cold, stealing my breath away. I tried keeping my mouth closed and just breathing through my nose. It helped out immensely as far as hoping I wouldn’t pass out from that dizzying feeling.
I spotted the little clearing in the trees that led you straight to the tracks. There was still enough overgrowth for me to watch where I was walking. Other than that, if I walked along the rails, I wouldn’t have to worry about anything. I saw the familiar setting taking shape as my eyes adjusted to the change in light. I trudged through the dead grass, not even paying attention. I knew where I was going. I also knew I could get there in my sleep if I wanted to. And with the lack of rest I had gotten just a few hours ago, I was pretty much doing just that. I subconsciously pulled my oversized sweatshirt closer to my body, hoping to get a bit warmer.
I saw the silhouette of the car in the darkness; just another shadow in the midst of the practically abandoned part of town. I could remember using it for a clubhouse when Montgomery and I were younger. Our constant laughter and joy had already faded into the troubled abyss of my mind. At least that car still existed, even if our memories would be forgotten. And yet, someday in the future it would be taken to a junk yard and used for scrap metal. I guess that proves that nothing ever lasts.
As I neared it, the shadow seemed different. It looked as if someone was already at my destination, lying down comfortably while I had been walking for twenty minutes and freezing my ass off. It wasn’t normal for anyone to even be on this side of town before the sun had risen. Since there wasn’t too much around other than dilapidated buildings and overgrowth that consisted of plants I’d never even heard of, there was no real reason why someone would be out before dawn unless they were looking to be attacked by a skunk or something...
The thought intruded my mind that it may be Monty, but I had already figured she would want to get some sleep. I couldn’t help but wonder who the person was. I mean, the town is extremely small. Everyone pretty much knew everyone. The term ‘stranger’ was rarely used. I couldn’t really think of anyone who would be on top of that car to watch the sun rise. Frank might, but he had left for the weekend. Plus he’d probably have some girl with him anyway.
As I slowly approached the car, I heard someone singing softly. It was a male voice. The notes he sang shattered the silence with a sweet melody. I felt like I could drift away never to return just by listening to him. He was definitely young, and his voice seemed like it was coated with sugar. It sent chills down my spine.
I stood where I was, not wishing to move a muscle. That voice relaxed every tense feeling in my body. He continued to sing, but his voice died down after a few moments. I heard him chuckle.
I glanced up at him. I was about seven feet from the car. I felt his gaze drift from his shoes to me. “You could have at least spoken up and let me know you were here”, he said. I could just hear the amusement in his voice. I remained silent, slightly embarrassed. He laughed quietly. “Come on over here… I don’t bite unless it’s in self-defense.”
Without saying a word, I slowly walked to the car. I used the front bumper to get on the hood and carefully scooted until I could pull myself up onto the roof where he was sitting. As soon as I got a look at his face that wasn’t concealed by the fading darkness, I froze. Holy fucking mother-of-Christ… I have got to be damned. That’s the only possible way that my karma would be this bad.
He smiled warmly. “Now that we’re close enough to have an actual conversation… I’m Gerard.”
I nodded, my head spinning. “My name’s kinda weird”, I said quietly with a small smile. “It’s Cadence. It means—”
“Balance”, he interjected. “It’s the flow of poetry or the constant beat of a song.”
I cocked my head to the side slightly. “You knew exactly what it meant.”
Gerard shrugged. “I’m a musician. I play and write music. Lyrics are just poetry turned into notes and melodies. Where would I be without cadence in my life?” he asked, glancing up at the sky, which was getting lighter. I smiled and lay back, putting my hands behind my head.
“I don’t know. I guess everything would sound like confusion and turmoil.”
Gerard chuckled. “That’s a good way to put it. By the way, how long were you listening to me sing?” he asked.
I chewed on my bottom lip, trying not to seem like I’d been watching him from my window for the past two weeks. “I just ended up hearing it after I got close enough. So a few minutes, I guess.”
He nodded. “I was just wondering. So where do you live?”
I raised an eyebrow and laughed quietly. “I live across the street from you.”
He tore his eyes from the sky and looked at me. He didn’t say anything for a moment. He just looked at me intently. I felt like he was staring into my soul. And yet, I wasn’t even frightened by the absurd thought. He broke into a smile and shook his head. “I think I would remember you.”
I pulled myself up and rested on my elbows. “Why is that?” I asked curiously. I looked pretty normal. I didn’t stick with any sort of clique. I was just Cadence.
Gerard smiled bashfully and looked at his shoes. “You’re pretty. I don’t forget pretty girls like you easily.”
I giggled quietly at his slight awkwardness. He was sweet, just like I had thought he would be.
It was getting much brighter now, and the sun was starting to peek through the trees. It wasn’t late enough for them to completely see it, but it was still there. I felt a rush of excitement wash over me. I hadn’t done this in almost a year, but it was still just as breathtaking every time. I glanced over at Gerard. “If there was one thing you could have in the entire world, what would it be?” I asked, sitting upright and pulling my knees close to my chest.
He was quiet. I heard the birds starting to chirp and the slight breeze blowing over the leaves. “I would wish to have someone who understands me”, he said, his voice distant. “What about you?”
I sighed and shook my head. “Mine’s stupid. At least yours has some depth to it.”
Gerard laughed. “Now I definitely have to hear this.”
I rolled my eyes and clutched my knees as hard as I could. “I’ve always wanted to have someone write a song just for me. Something special, that nothing else could ever compare to.” I waited for him to laugh or even just chuckle. He didn’t. Instead, when I looked up at him, he was smiling.
“I think that would be awesome to have a song that was only yours. Meant only for you”, he said, his voice getting distant again. His eyes sparkled. "Music is expression, and expression is done with passion. Passion is one of the key elements of love. It would be so perfect to have those beautiful notes wrapped around your very being and personality traits, all constructed by the one you love. It's a symbol to show closeness."
I saw the sun had just barely risen up past the treetops. It glowed with an essence that could only exist from something that man would never be able to touch. Wasn’t that a hope? If everything on the earth faded, there would still be the warm light of the sun. Sure, it’s possible that it might dim in time due to some space phenomenon. But it would never truly go out. And that hope surpassed anything that the world could offer.
It's been way too long since I slept... so goodnight, my little creatures of destruction. I'll try and work on the next chapter soon :)