Miss Aida
She felt like a change of pace. A reminder of a rhythm that she once heard. She clicked around a little on the laptop, recalling he had uploaded some songs of his.

These songs that were special to me, he'd said as he returned her hard drive, and she smiled to herself, reminded of their vastly different tastes in music. She'd always wondered how he'd skipped their whole generation of music and ended up listening to those genres she'd always seen on the shelves, things like progressive house and trance, but never really gave more than a passing glance. It was one of the things they had always agreed to disagree on, although she admitted that once she listened to the songs he'd played for her that she rather enjoyed them.

Ah. Perfect.

Click. Select all. Add to playlist. She paused for awhile and then labelled it, Memories of A Time, with a little sadness. Play.

She was in the mood for some mellow music. She always let the music wash over her as she bent over her work. Melodies and rhythms and music throbbing through her headphones. She never really heard the lyrics.

Was it really so long ago
We were taking photographs
Of each other in our winter pageant clothes

Skipping school going home
Running for shelter from a sudden thunderstorm
Kissing raindrops on your nose

What part did I play
In making you the way you are
What more can I say to convince you
You didn't have to go so far
You didn't have to go so far
- Aromabar, Winter Pageant

Her head whipped up at the lyrics as all the blood drained from her face, forgetting immediately what she was doing. The haunting music tugging at her heartstrings as for the first time in her life, she listened to the lyrics. Words that seemed like they spoke directly to her about the time they shared together.

She could almost substitute herself saying those words. And at the same time, she could almost hear him say those words to her. The song ended and she breathed a sigh of relief. It was too raw. Too close to the truth.

I can fly
But I want his wings
I can shine even in the darkness
But I crave the light that he brings
Revel in the songs that he sings
My angel Gabriel
- Gabriel, Lamb

A thousand questions running through her head as the playlist shuffled from one song to another. The words her heart felt, feeling as if her soul was stripped bare and laid there for him to see. Her hand clapped to her mouth, as if she feared her fragile hold on her control would break, and yet she could not turn off the music, wanting to read between the lines.

If I should die this very moment
I wouldn't fear
For I've never known completeness
Like being here
Wrapped in the warmth of you
Loving every breath of you
Still in my heart this moment
Or it might burst
Could we stay right here
Until the end of time until the earth stops turning
Wanna love you until the seas run dry
I've found the one I've waited for
- Gorecki, Lamb

The words she had always been afraid to say. The hundred and one emotions that she could not face and now she wondered if he, too, could not find it within himself to say the words that now rang through her ears.

Words running into each other until she could no longer tell if they were words that she once wanted to say to him or if they were words he wanted to say to her, and she wanted it to stop but she couldn't help but wonder about what else would come in this strange, haunting collection of music he had put together for her. What messages lay between the lines.

Thought he had it all before they called his bluff
Found out that his skin just wasn't thick enough
Wanted to go back to how it was before
Thought he lost everything

Then he lost a whole lot more
A fool's devotion
Swallowed up in empty space
The tears of regret

Frozen to the side of his face
The smell of sunshine
I remember sometimes
I've done all I can do

Could I please come with you?
Sweet smell of sunshine
I remember sometimes
- I'm Looking Forward to Joining You, Finally, Nine Inch Nails

The tears came then. The painful reminder of the happiness she once felt, and of something that she had lost and still the song played on, and the questions started again. His apology. A shared regret of the circumstances that had started and ended that chapter of their lives.

And I don't wanna feel this overwhelming
Hostility
I don't wanna feel this overwheming
Hostility

Gotta cut away, clear away
Slip away and sever this
Umbilical residue
- Orestes, A Perfect Circle

She screamed the words in her head, wanting to believe that she could hate him, wishing that she could wash away the hurt with the tears, wishing that she could blame him for loving him, wishing a thousand contradictions. That things were different. That she could stop loving him.

Feeling how much easier it could be if she could blame the issues of the past entirely on him, if she could channel all the sadness into anger. Wishing she could stop being so rational and give into hatred and anger and those wonderfully negative emotions that could drain her, and it least she could feel nothing.

You could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt

If I could start again
A million miles away
I would keep myself
I would find a way
- Hurt, Nine Inch Nails

She couldn't hate him. She couldn't. It was so easy to want to, but he had done nothing but become her first love. And her first heartbreak, and she had had no idea it would have been so painful. She thought she had been strong, that she had moved on, but as the songs continued playing, the words felt like daggers in her heart.

So vulnerable
But it's all right.
Heal me, heal me,
My dear brena.

Show me lonely
And show me openings
To lead me closer to you,
My dear brena.

So vulnerable
But it's all right.
Opening to heal...
Opening to heal...
- Brena, A Perfect Circle

Silent tears turned into the heartwrenching sobs of heartbreak. These songs are special to me, she remembered him saying, and through her tears, she wondered if he meant to tell her all that was being sung. Wondered if he could have realised the words would have been the undoing of her tenuous grasp of control that she built around herself when they first parted ways.

And like a masochist, she played the songs again and again, and let the tears flow. For a moment, she stopped being strong and gave in to the moment of anguish she felt deep inside, and cried until she could cry no more.

Letting the tears flow until she felt numb from it all.

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