A Tragic Wreck
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She took a few breaths and began playing the opening lines, the melody slow and haunting. Cam sat on the edge of his seat watching her performance, her sweet voice cutting through the room, unable to mask her obvious pain.
As she sang, Olivia thought about the hold Alexander still possessed over her, causing her heart to ache from the loneliness of life without him. But it was a necessary self-imposed loneliness. It was almost Christmas and she had no one left with whom to celebrate the holidays. She pushed everyone away again, refusing to let anyone in. She hopelessly wished that her entire life was just a bad dream and that she would wake up in bed with Alexander any day. But she knew that wasn’t the case. He found her and begged her to go back to him, and she pushed him away. Again.
Benny elbowed Cam. “She’s good, man. Seems a little sad, but she’s rocking.” Cam simply nodded, staring at Olivia as she sang the first chorus, a hurt expression on her face while she pleaded to be set free. At that moment, Cam knew that something happened to her. Something recent. Maybe something to do with a man named Alexander, the name she murmured over and over again in her sleep that one night. Maybe he was the reason she left Boston and ended up on the little island. Nothing about her said that it was a planned move. Cam knew that she ran from something, but what? He told Olivia time and time again that he wouldn’t pry, but how could he really help her get past it if he didn’t know what it was?
Olivia continued singing as Cam scanned the room. Everyone was immersed in the performance. She definitely knew how to capture an audience. The emotion of the song was raw and real, and Cam was sure everyone in the audience could feel her pain. He could feel her pain. He wanted to take her pain away. He knew that if she begged him, he would crack. He didn’t want to, but the pain was unbearable. He could see it now.
As she sang the bridge, Olivia turned her eyes from the audience, staring out into the distance as if singing to someone far away, and Cam knew that she was. That song wasn’t meant for anyone in the room. The person the song was aimed at was in Boston. The song reached a fevered pitch and she belted out a desperate plea, the audience cheering wildly for the strength of Olivia’s voice ringing through the bar. She moved on to the last chorus, her voice soft once more.
Olivia closed her eyes as she played the final chord, a tear escaping when she thought about the hold that Alexander would probably always have on her. Almost immediately, the crowd erupted in cheers and applause. She opened her eyes and stood up, turning to look at the audience cheering madly for her. She took a slight bow and walked off the stage, heading in the direction of the restroom, needing a moment before returning to the table.
She was standing in front of the bathroom mirror, composing herself, when Elsie walked in.
“Hey. There you are. Cam was getting worried, but I told him you probably just went to the bathroom. You okay?”
Olivia looked down at Elsie. She was absolutely beautiful. There were some girls that made some extra pounds look attractive and she was one of them. She had such a bright personality.
“Yeah. Sorry. I just needed a minute before going back to the table.”
“Tough break-up, huh?” Elsie asked, leaning against the wall.
Olivia eyed her suspiciously. “How could you tell?”
She turned toward Olivia. “I’m a girl. We just know these things.” She angled her head, looking at Olivia as if she was trying to put a puzzle together. “That’s it!” Elsie shouted. “I knew you looked familiar. Duh!”
Olivia stared at her. “What do you mean?” she asked.
“You’re the girl who used to date that rich guy up in Boston, right? Or who was rumored to be dating him anyway. Sorry. I’m obsessed with all those gossip magazines and shit. Your picture was in there a few times. Well, at least you look like her. I mean, there were only rumors and what not, but damn… Alexander Burnham. What a hottie! He’s the type of guy that you just look at and think, ‘Let me take your shirt off… And your pants’.” Elsie laughed.
Olivia just stood there, shocked, her eyes wide, unable to formulate any response.
“Oh, whatever,” Elsie continued. “Doesn’t matter. But you look like her. That girl he was rumored to date. Never knew her name, though. No one did, but I guess he’s dating someone else now. I was so distraught when I found that out. I was hoping to nab him next.” She winked.
Olivia continued to stare at her reflection in the mirror. What did she mean Alexander was seeing someone else? So soon? It hadn’t even been two weeks since he showed up on her doorstep, pleading with her. Was he already seeing someone back then?
“You must be thinking of someone else,” Olivia said, finally finding her voice, trying to talk past the lump that had begun to form in her throat. “It wasn’t me, whoever that girl was.” She walked out of the bathroom, wanting to be alone.
Making her way past the bar, she stole a quick glance at the table where Cam sat speaking animatedly with his friends, then walked out the front door into the brisk Florida night. She looked up and down the street, trying to figure out where she was. Once she had her bearings, she headed east, deciding to walk the roughly three miles back to her cottage.
“Hey. Where’s Olivia?” Cam asked when Elsie returned to the table several minutes after Olivia had stormed out of the ladies’ room.
“She left the bathroom,” Elsie replied, looking around the bar. “I thought she came back here. I hope she’s okay.”
“What did you say to her?” Cam growled.
“Hey,” Benny interrupted, glaring at his friend. “Back off, man. Elsie isn’t like that.”
Cam took a deep breath. “I know. Sorry. But where’d she go?”
“Well, I mean, we were talking about how stupid men are,” she replied, shooting Benny a glaring look as she feverishly typed something into her cell phone. “And then I saw her face in the light and it totally reminded me of that girl that was rumored to be dating that hot rich guy up in Boston. That Navy SEAL hottie who has, like, a gazillion dollars and his own private security firm.” The guys stared at her as she kept her eyes glued to her phone, looking for something. “Whatever. It’s a girl thing, I guess. He’s like the J.F.K., Jr. of the twenty-first century. He’s one of the most eligible bachelors in the country. He’s all over those gossip websites.”