Prompt 101-Song Memory

Write about a song and the memories or feelings it evokes in you.

My December – Linkin Park

The snow crunched beneath Tanya’s boots. Puffs of steam escaped her lips as she breathed the crisp, December air. Fluffy flakes floated lazily to the ground, except where they settled on the knit cap she wore, or tangled in the dark, curly hair on her shoulders.

She wandered without direction, her mind replaying the fight over and over. The evening’s laughter turned to tears, a tender moment turned hostile, a fragile thing shattered. Her breath swirled in front of her as she sighed.

It was always the same with Jordan. Late nights talking on the phone when miles separated them, out with friends or casual evenings in when Tanya was home. She knew he loved her as more than just a friend. Had known for years. And she loved him too, in her own way.

She loved the way he laughed. She loved that his smile felt like home. She loved how comfortably she fit in his arms. She loved that they could lay under the stars for hours not saying a word. She loved that she could confide in him. And she loved that he loved so deeply, even if it scared her to death.

The first time he had dared to steal a kiss, it electrified her. Soft lips lightly brushing hers, hesitant, testing the boundaries of their relationship. A quiet apology, a whispered confession. Then another kiss, from her to him this time. And another. They kissed each other until they were breathless.

Afterwards, Jordan held Tanya tightly, almost as though he were afraid to let go. That letting go would mean she would disappear forever. She had cut him off once before when he had come too close. It had taken almost two years to rebuild their relationship. And there they were again. Another line had been crossed that they could not take back. Would she run again?

“We can make this work,” Jordan said. “I can deal with the distance. It’s not like we don’t already talk every day.”

Tanya wasn’t worried about the distance. She couldn’t love him the way he needed to be loved, the way he deserved to be loved. “I don’t know,” she said.

“Please? Can we just try?”

His fingers caressed her cheek, dark eyes earnest and full of love. Her stomach writhed with butterflies. She loved having him look at her that way. Against her better judgment, she agreed. She didn’t want to push him out of her life again.

Looking back, Tanya knew it was her own fault for allowing it to continue so long. Months of trying had not changed her feelings towards him. Jordan’s devotion was uncomfortably one-sided. She began to dread seeing him. She knew he sensed it because every time she tried to bring it up he would laugh it off, or distract her with a kiss, a gentle touch, anything to avoid the inevitable.

This night had been much the same, except that Tanya had finally stood her ground. They were curled up on the couch after watching a movie. He was laughing and teasing her, she was playing along. She hadn’t planned to fight him, but then he said those words. “Come on babe, you know you love me.”

Tanya’s heart sank. This was the best opportunity she would have. The playful atmosphere turned cold, as though someone had opened the window to the winter air outside. She forced herself to look him in the eye when she responded. “No,” she sighed. “I don’t.”

At first he laughed. When she looked away with a frown he stopped. “You’re serious.”

She held her arms tightly and nodded. In the silence, she told herself not to look at him. This was for the best. “I’m sorry,” she whispered and stood to leave.

“Tanya, don’t.” He reached for her arm but she pulled away. His voice broke. “Please. I thought we were going to make this work?”

“I can’t fake it anymore,” she said. Make it a clean break. Rip it off like a Band-Aid. Don’t drag it out. “I just don’t love you.” Not like you love me. “I’m sorry.”

His pain became anger. “Just like that?” His voice rose. Tanya braced herself; she deserved his ire. “You lead me on for months and you break it off just like that?”

She finally looked at him. The tears in his eyes almost derailed her, but she steeled herself, fed on his anger and let herself become angry too. “I told you from the start this wasn’t going to work! That it wasn’t what I wanted! You were the one who insisted we try!” she shouted.

He recoiled as if she had slapped him. “All our time together. It meant nothing to you?”

Tanya held back her tears. “I didn’t want to destroy our friendship. You never considered my feelings. I tried to tell you it wasn’t working. So many times.” She choked back a sob before it could escape. “Every time, you brushed it aside because you were afraid. You refused to accept the truth. Well here it is, I’m telling you the truth.”

“Tanya.”

“Jordan, I just don’t love you.”

“Please.” She pushed past him, grabbing her coat in the hallway. He stood helplessly in the living room doorway as she laced up her winter boots. “Don’t leave,” he whispered.

She stood with her hand on the doorknob for a heartbeat that stretched for an eternity. If she walked out that door, she would never see him again. If she stayed, she would only cause him more pain in the future. She swallowed her resolve. “I’m sorry.” She turned the knob and stepped outside. “Goodbye.”

The snow was beginning to pile around her. She had stopped at the park a few miles down the road. Tanya’s footprints were already filled in behind her and she stared up at the dark grey clouds. She blinked away the flakes that settled on her lashes. They melted on her cheeks, joining the streaks of the tears she shed.

Notes: Yep, I’m a Linkin Park chick. At this point, any of their songs are pretty nostalgic for me, but this one in particular resonates because I’ve always associated it with a complicated relationship that didn’t end the way either of us wanted it to.

When I was trying to think of what song to use, My December stuck out for some reason. I don’t even think I was listening to it at the time, but it does give me strong feelings when I hear it, a vivid picture in my mind. The nostalgia and the heartbreak come through the song the strongest to me. Tanya certainly wishes for a simpler time.

Man, I can honestly say I am so happy to be married. No more dating drama. The biggest drama we have now is what we want for dinner or who is responsible for cleaning the litter boxes this time?

So what about you? Are there any particular songs that evoke strong feelings in you? Songs you associate with a particular memory? Maybe there’s a song that fits your characters emotions perfectly. What could it be? Write it down! Have a great day! I’ll see you tomorrow!

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