It was anger set to music.
But not just anger, there was a whirlwind of emotion filling the room.
It was tangible, rushing through the air tangled together, pain and despair, disillusion and disappointment, but anger and rage thumped a steady beat beneath it all.
Suppressed anger can grow out of proportion when ignored for too long and this was a long time coming.
She sat alone at a table for four watching his band.
They were on fire that night and while the crowd was small for a Saturday night their set was painfully perfect.
It all came out in the music.
Rage and despair fell out of his mouth as he spit out the lyrics and if anyone bothered to really listen to what he was singing they might feel the sting she felt.
She was hunched over her sketchbook as he ripped his heart open and slammed it on the floor for all to see. Pain shattered around him like a fine crystal wineglass knocked to the ground by a careless hand, blood-red wine soaking into everything it touched.
The people listened but they didn’t hear.
She wasn’t foolish enough to think she understood the meaning behind the madness he sang but she knew they sang in the same language.
Scary, that’s what he’d called it.
Her head down, she scribbled in her sketchbook. Her pen scratched his likeness onto the paper in quick hurried strokes and as she looked up her eyes caught his.
He could see into her soul and she felt the burn of humiliation at the images flashing through her mind.
She remembered his body wrestling with hers as he took her to places she never knew existed.
He’d channeled his anger into her that night and hopefully, tonight he’d do the same.
She sipped slowly on the same watered-down Coke she’d been drinking all night wishing she could fade into the wall and disappear.
Her mind buzzed with conflicting thoughts as she watched him bounce around the room shooting from place to place, stopping for a few words here and there as his band broke down their gear to make room for the next band.
Feeling out-of-place and alone in a room half-filled with half-drunks she set what was left of her drink on the bar and stepped outside for a cigarette.
It was freezing outside. A major snowstorm had been predicted but so far there was nothing but frozen rain blowing sideways from the blustery wind.
Icy pellets stung her cheeks as she struggled to keep a flame lit long enough to light her cigarette. Taking a good long drag of nicotine she exhaled as she turned toward the door and there he was, standing in front of her on the steps.
She felt that magnetic pull she always felt when he was around. She was helplessly drawn to him.
Whether it was because she saw so much of herself in him or just plain chemistry, she couldn’t control the unconscious sway of her body toward his as he stood one step above her.
Cigarette in one hand, the other shoved into the front pocket of his well-worn jeans he said nothing.
He didn’t have to, his eyes told her everything she needed to know.
They drew her in and everything else disappeared.
All the bullshit, all the stress, all the complications faded away and she wanted to pull him into her arms and make his pain go away along with her own.
They were both bruised, battered, and beaten-down.
She didn’t care what was real, right now she wanted to feel something other than frozen.
She wanted to burn.