The year is 1999. I am a high school senior, freshly broken up with my long time boyfriend of the previous three and a half years. Our son is one and a half.
Watching him fall in love with someone younger, prettier, and entirely without stretch marks was devastating. As I had built up my credits while home with a private tutor for the last half of my pregnancy, senior year was very much a year of make up work and flexibility. As a result, I was able to take a filler class ~ music theory and advanced keyboards. We each had our own assigned piano, and while others were learning for the first time I had already spent the formative years of my life taking piano lessons. I was fairly capable, and relied on music to cushion all of the heartbreak and confusion my 17 year old self carried around the way other girls carried lip gloss and backpacks.
This is the song I played relentlessly in the back practice room on the old upright facing the plexiglass windows, looking directly out upon the band room where my child’s father would stand, obliviously, smiling at someone new. This is the song that helped me save myself when I didn’t have the words for what I was feeling, and to this day it makes me want to find a piano and play.
What’s really magnificent though, is that: A. I was right. I did not in fact, know how to let him go. . . and B. We are now extremely happily married, and have been together again for thirteen years next month (and married for eleven this summer!) The song doesn’t sting the way it used it, but it is poignant, and lovely.