Radio Remembrance

On a brilliant warm day, I reached for the knob on my dashboard. A foreign melody hit the air and filled my ears as I cruised along an empty highway, my hand outstretched an open window to feel the sun. It was the first time I’d heard our song.

It wasn’t “our song” in the way that most love songs are born. We didn’t choose it together. It just became so as I was listening to it through earbuds when you first entered the cafe. You looked down to where I sat by the window, and you smiled at me. Just as the chorus began, I smiled back and hit “pause” with my thumb.

Whenever I drove somewhere to meet you, I played that song in the car. It became the background noise to our story. Suddenly I couldn’t hear the music and lyrics without also hearing your voice or seeing your smile in my head. The song became a source of elation – pure and true music for my soul.

After some time, things shifted between us. Our story was coming to an end. Tears were shed over empty promises and angry words were released. For months, I cradled myself either in silence or while listening to new music that didn’t remind me of you. The song I had once claimed in my heart as ours was abandoned and deleted.

Almost a year of healing had passed when one day, as I was listening to a random radio station, our song began to play. The invisible scars you’d given me were still there, but when I heard the song, for a moment it was just that: music. Then I remembered you and it almost knocked the breath out of me.

I remembered kissing you on a blanket in the sand under a navy sky sprinkled with stars. Memories of you rubbing your fingers over mine, interlaced and intertwined, as we walked down city streets flooded my mind. I could still feel your fingers touching mine. I could still feel the burn in my cheeks when you gazed at me like I was the only other person who existed even as we stood in a crowd of hundreds.

There were other memories – ones that had once brought me immense pain – but they were dull and lifeless now. They barely skimmed the surface. All I felt now was peace and hope. I no longer wanted you, but I hoped you were happy wherever you were.

As our song continued to play, I smiled to myself and reached forward for the knob. I turned up the volume and began to sing along.

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