she used to just stand there and stare.

It happened as she was leaving a concert.

A little known band she couldn’t convince the rest of her friends to spend $25 on. But she really wanted to go, so she went alone.

As much as she didn’t mind it, it was hard to not feel strange standing alone in a crowded room. Everyone with their friends, buying each other drinks. Leaning into each other and whispering. That always seemed to hit her the hardest. The lack of anyone to lean in and whisper to.

Sometimes she would pretend she was having a shared experience. A back and forth dialogue in her head with no one in particular.

She keeps her hand pinned to her phone in her pocket. Constantly pressing the button and bringing the screen to life. Checking it over and over again. Like she had someone who was coming. Or someone was texting her, wishing they could be there.

But even alone the show was beautiful. She felt the music in her bones. The artist played his heart out and didn’t want to stop. After 2 hours she felt her body begin to drag. He was stretching his last song out. Letting the music play on and on. Every time she had seen him he loved to do that. He’d have this connection with the audience and he always wanted everyone to have this positive shared experience. There was always some moment in the show where he’d find a way to make you finally present in the moment. Before you knew it you were screaming at the top of you lungs. Telling the universe you knew life was beautiful. Giggling to yourself for being so silly, but really feeling it nonetheless.

But as much as she loved his passion for music, the show was running long. She had begun to feel tired and decided to head for the door. She wanted to get a head start out of the auditorium.

That’s when she heard him call out.

“You can still do it!”

She stopped. In a room full of people, there was no way he was talking to her. She turned around.

“You can still make your life what you want.”

He was talking over the music. She just stared at him. He was talking to her, she knew it. His words hit her like a bullet. She felt her whole body shake from the impact of them. She started slowly walking back to the stage.

“There’s still time left to be whatever you want to be.”

It was like he knew. His words floated over the air and found their way into everything she had been battling deep down inside of her. The rest of the band playing with such intensity, playing the same notes over and over. They had become their instruments and all she could see was him.

She almost wanted to call back to him. Ask him, “How do you know?” But she just stood there and stared, tears in her eyes.

The song ended and he left the stage. The house lights came on and she followed the remaining audience members out of the venue. She walked back to her car in a daze. She could feel it spreading, whatever he had just given her. With each minute it slowly had moved through her.

She got in her car. As she put her key in the ignition, she hesitated. She sat back and she smiled.

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