"So what did you think?" Frank asked nervously as he drove in the night. The show had been amazing... but it was all marred. All of it. Bridget felt like a bucket of slimy, dead fish had been forced down her throat.
"It was great," she whispered as she stared out of the car window, at the city lights.
"You didn't like it," Frank stated in disappointment.
"No! It's not that. I loved it. I really did. I'm just tired. It's already 1:30," Bridget said hurriedly. She didn't want to bring Frank down... but she was still hopelessly depressed. How long would it be until he broke it off? Months? Weeks? Days? Hours? She needed to know. It was killing her. It was eating at her like small, incessant parasites. It was like she was hungering for something she wasn't sure of. She didn't know if she just wanted it over with or if she wanted to get on her knees and plead that he not be seduced by that inhuman thing that was idyllically perfect.
"What did you think of the last song?" Frank asked encouragingly. Bridget sighed. She really was tired and mentally drained. She wished he would just drive in silence and let her brood... she felt like shit.
"It was beautiful. They all were."
"I wrote the last one. It's about you," he whispered. Bridget looked at him, startled. She had been expecting the break up talk any second, and instead she received a song. A song about her. That had never happened to her before. Ever.
"What was it called?" she asked in a small voice.
"Shards of Sky. We made a demo tape of it. Here's your copy," he whispered as he reached into the glove compartment and retrieved the tape. Bridget took it and stared at the label. Shards of Sky. There was a song about her, on a demo tape called Shards of Sky. Frank had written a song about her called Shards of Sky. It was a little overwhelming.
"I love you," Frank whispered as he stopped the car. He kissed her, and she entered her home, completely devoid of the cold, slimy, dead fish feeling in her stomach. It was now replaced by floating. She decided that the floating feeling was definitely her favorite.
Bridget's face was burning. She hated when teachers talked about her in front of the whole class... even when it was a positive thing. She just hated the attention so much. She could feel everyone's stares... false smiles... hypocritical words of encouragement. All these people... pretending to care when they didn't give a rat's ass.
Mr. Henderson was holding up May's issue of Wallpaper Magazine, discussing Bridget's story which had been published a week ago. First he had read the story, and now he was critiquing it and telling the class how wonderfully stupendous it was and what a marvelous job Bridget had done. She felt nauseous. She was holding The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell in her desk, reading furiously, trying as hard as she could to drown out her English teacher's incessant compliments. She didn't need this. She didn't need all this false attention and hypocritical support. She had gotten the story published and it was enough. It was enough. Why did he have to make such a big deal out of this? she kept repeating in her head.
The bell rang, making her jump up and gather her books in a flurry. She dashed out before Mr. Henderson even had a chance to finish his long speech.
She sat in the cafeteria alone, her legs drawn up against her chest. Frank was nowhere to be seen. She sighed. Usually when he was late, it meant he wouldn't show up at all. She didn't know what he was up to at lunch when he was nowhere to be found. She guessed that he was practicing bass, since he brought it to school every day, but she couldn't be sure. She felt a jealous pang as she imagined him with Sapphire somewhere, talking and laughing. What if that was where he was? Sapphire had no obligations. She had dropped out of school more than half a year ago. She was at Frank's disposal. Bridget stopped herself. She would go crazy if she kept hypothesizing. She left the cafeteria and wandered around aimlessly outside; the spring- turning- to- summer breeze was refreshing. She heard the bell ring in the distance and hurried back, feeling more relaxed.
Frank was late for History. He walked in halfway through one of Mrs. Kollman's lectures. She pursed her lips as she often did at the sight of him, and waited until he took his seat. He was so languid. Bridget was worried. Did the song mean anything? Did any of the things he had said in the car after the show have any real meaning whatsoever? Despite all of Mrs. Kollman's warnings, the book was half concealed in her desk and she skimmed the pages, trying to repress all the hurt. Too much hurt. Everyone in her life had hurt her... and she couldn't do anything about it. She just subjected herself to people's bashings. She considered breaking all meaningful relationships with the people around her... but the only one she had was with Frank. And she couldn't break that off. Not unless he did so first. And he probably would... soon. Very soon. The more she thought about it, the more certain she became that the song meant nothing.