It's about me. That beautiful song, known as the greatest love song of our time – it's about me. I'm the girl that he's singing about in that song. It's the song that makes every girl in America go, "Aw! I wish he was my boyfriend!" Well, he was never my boyfriend, but he was my best friend. Chris Floyd. And he wrote a freaking song about me.
I guess I should start from the beginning. Chris and I met in middle school, back when I was the new kid in seventh grade. It was a small town, and everyone had been with each other since Kindergarten, so having a new kid for the first time was a huge deal around here. The moment I walked into the building I got these strange stares, and the only person who actually came up to introduce themselves was Chris. He helped me to all of my classes, sat with me at lunch, and actually tried to get to know me. The rest was history.
We spent every waking moment together after that, hanging out, listening to music, or doing homework. Anything, really. Just together. We'd play soccer sometimes (my passion) or I'd listen to Chris play on his guitar (his passion). We were pretty much loners. I didn't have any good friends besides him, just acquaintances. He didn't have anyone else, either. It was just Katie and Chris, all of the time.
I remember the day he first brought the song home with him. All day at school he'd been squirming around, and the minute the bell ran he sprinted to his car and honked his horn at me to hurry up. I got in the car and he started shouting right away.
"Katie, it's come to me! The greatest song ever written! I need to get home, I need my guitar. You can't come over today."
I took his words in stride. He said something of this nature at least twice a month, so I wasn't surprised at all. "What's it about?"
"I don't know yet. I just have a few lines, maybe for a first stanza, and there's this melody that's been in my head all day. I just… I need my guitar!"
"Okay. Call me later if you want some critique." He nodded and pulled up in front of my house. I only lived about a mile from the school, but Chris still always gave me a ride home.
It was about five hours later that the phone call came. "Katie! You have to listen to this chord progression. It's so kick ass. Just listen!"
It was really only the beginnings of his hit. The outer shell, if you will. A few chords, most recognizably the chorus of what you know as the greatest song of our times, and a bit of humming out the melody, but nothing like what it turned out to be.
A moment later he was finished. "Well?"
"It's a work in progress…" I answered truthfully.
"I know that, but what do you think of it so far?"
I hesitated. "I can't really tell, honestly, because it's so sparse. What's it going to be about?"
"Death," he answered automatically, and I cringed. "I know, Katie, but I have a great idea."
"Which is?" The idea of a song about death made me queasy. My own father had died just two years before from cancer, so I had a particular aversion to the topic.
"It's about you."
Me? "I'm dead in your song?"
"No! I can't explain it now, but there's death, and you're in it, but you're not dead… I'm confusing myself now. Hang on."
"Wait, Chris. I don't want you to write a song about me and death."
"Don't worry. See, I'm the one who is dead, and I'm watching over you. You'll cry, but in a good way, I think."
He was right. He slaved over this song for two months, working on it every single day without fail. He never sang the lyrics for me, but the song itself became so engrained in my head that it followed me around everywhere. It had a spooky quality to it, but it was so hauntingly beautiful. I always asked him how the lyrics were coming along, for this was the part that worried me, but he said they were almost done. He'd work on those on his own at home.
About three months after the idea of the song came into his head he starting perfecting some of his other stuff. He had a good collection of about ten original songs, including the new one, and he wanted to perform them somewhere. He got a gig at a coffee house one night and he begged me to stop by for it, so I of course agreed.
He started with the songs he'd written first, and the crowd loved him. Chris had such an amazing stage presence. He was so earnest and endearing that you had to love him.
After he'd finished all of the songs I knew he finally came to the final number, the one I'd been waiting breathlessly for. "Thank you all for coming out to listen today. I have just one more song to play for you all tonight, and it's one that's particularly close to my heart. This one's for Katie." He looked straight out into the crowd and found me in the back. The number of people in the shop had grown numerously, and there was a man in an expensive suit in the back who had listened to the last two numbers with extreme interest.
He started to play the familiar beginning, but then his voice rang out, warm and clear.
It was the most beautiful song I'd ever heard, and the crowd of people grew entirely silent as he played on. The room was filled with one emotion: awe. Awe and disbelief. He had done it. He'd written the most beautiful song of our time. And it was about me.
The lyrics spoke of a man who had just passed on and found himself in heaven, able to choose to choose just one thing that he might desire to do for all of eternity. He finds that he only wants to watch over his Katie for the rest of her life, and then proceeds to describe her flawlessness from up above in the second verse. He starts to compare her to the angels surrounding him, but then states that she is too perfect: there is no comparison. When told that after his Katie is gone from the earth his consciousness will disappear with her, he does not care. He only wants to watch over the love of his life, his Katie.
After the son was finished there was a long pause around the room, and I saw tears rolling down more than one face in the crowd. The applause which followed the silence lasted for the longest time, and as I fought to reach him by his microphone the bigwig in the suit pushed me aside, promptly offering Chris a record deal.
With only a passing hug and goodbye, Chris was whisked away to New York City to become a star, and sure enough he was one. He made an album of about fifteen songs, and the most well known was the one about me.
Chris Floyd died about a year after he went big. The autopsy reported it was due to a drug overdose, and his funeral was packing with sobbing teenage girls who claimed his music had changed their lives. I was probably one of a dozen people there who had actually known him, and I couldn't shed a tear until I got home later that night. This was the man who had been my very best friend, who had written the most beautiful love song to ever be written, only to abandon me in exchange for fame right after. The day Chris left our small down was the last time I ever saw him. Still, even after five years, the pain doesn't begin to dull.
And the words of his beautiful song still echo in my mind.