I sighed quietly as I stared at the blank screen before me. My eyes traced the only button on the screen that I cared about.
I took another drink from the mix Octavia brought me and smiled as I glanced at her sitting across the room from me. It was early in the morning, but she still refused to go to bed until I did. Instead, she sat in the corner of my office and sipped a cup of warm coffee while she pretended to read a book.
I had a stronger drink. I needed it. Tonight was the night I said goodbye.
Octavia understood. She would watch me as I slipped my headphones back on and whispered into my microphone while I worked on my latest track. I berated myself for making this one while I had about eight scrapped album projects on my folder on my computer. Still, I had to do this before I lost my nerve.
The pony version of me was living the life I wanted, according to my friend Twilight Sparkle. She was a big-shot DJ, while the human me, the me-me, was working a shit job in a small town buying a house I couldn't afford with the love of my life.
She was the only reason I kept going. Sure, I had my dreams and I still planned to pursue them, but... this was different. I had been mixing songs and uploading them to a small niche website for years, but a few years ago I stopped. I didn't have a reason to stop and I hadn't wanted to, but I had been presented a new site, with a hundred times the traffic that my old site had.
It was full of people from all different walks of life ready to critique and review and, hopefully enjoy. For the past four years, I had been writing songs on the new site, but had yet to upload any of them, or even finish them for that matter. Something had stopped me.
My old site.
Sure, I wasn't exactly popular on that website anyways. Most of my songs were just pandering to the niche I knew would use that site and I had been especially notorious for using heavy bass that I knew would get me a higher listener count than other songs. It had played its part well. I got listeners and reviewers and even made some friends.
The thought made me smile as I looked at my chat boxes in the corner. I had met so many people that I considered friends, even though I never met them and I had not spoken to any of them in four years.
I took another drink.
"My love." Octavia mumbled blearily. "You need to keep going." she said again. She said that all night when I would get distracted or start to procrastinate.
"Why?" I asked quietly.
"For your fans." Octavia mumbled. She was so tired.
Why won't she go to sleep? I thought. I knew why. She was helping me in her own stubborn way.
"What, all four of them?" I asked with a chuckle. "I haven't uploaded anything in years. I don't think any of them care anymore anyways."
"Then keep going for yourself." she sighed. "You told me yourself you need to do this." she closed her book and met my gaze. "One last song."
I sighed and nodded at her with a smile. "Right as always, dear." I chuckled.
"Of course I am." she yawned as she re-opened her book.
I put my head phones in and leaned towards the mike.
"She pushes me on, even when I fall." I sang quietly, earning a short glare from my wife.
I had already told her why it was important to me that I do this song. I knew she would never understand with her symphony being so different from my songs on the internet. Even still, she knew that I needed to do it and that was exactly why she pushed me to continue.
I considered my next lyrics carefully. I didn't want to say goodbye. I did not want to make this song. I wanted to continue going to work every day and pretending one day I would pick up my work online.
I knew it was a lie I told myself to keep from crying.
It was so hard to continue to write and sing and mix and pray that one day I would be able to get back to it. Four years shouldn't be so hard. But, I knew it had to be hard. I never made music to get famous. I never did it to make money. I sure as hell never made it to be respected by a bunch of self-proclaimed critics who think they're experts but can't even spell sonnet.
I did it for me.
I needed that outlet in my life as much as I needed Tavi. They were both the love of my life. My creative outlet and the woman I chose to spend my life with.
The whole time I made this song I never once looked at the length. I didn't know if it would be a two minute song or a half-hour long album. I had started at noon, and now that I was glancing at the clock it was two-thirty in the morning and I was pretty sure I was drunk.
I thought about the most appropriate way to say this goodbye and turned the bass off in my headphones. If it was there I would fall back on it again and write another song for quick bout of listeners only to realize it wasn't a true goodbye.
"I'm gonna take five, Tavi." I sighed as I stood from the computer.
She smiled and hummed a quiet acceptance as I stood from my chair. In my twenty-five years of life, I had smoked a grand total of three cigarettes. I was on my way to make it four... maybe five. This was becoming more difficult by the second.
As the smoke filled my lungs I fought back a cough and considered what had made me decide I needed to do this tonight. It was a string of events really.
Two years ago I heard a song. Something amazing that had started on the same site that I used to upload to. A song that spoke to me and not even in a vague non-specific way that most songs attempted to. It was so personal to me. A song about the difficulty of passion for art. How hard it is to keep yourself motivated and inspired to continue working on your craft and it broke my heart. I looked at his follower list full of over a million people, and then his views on that song, over five million. If someone this successful had so much trouble continuing to follow their dreams what hope was there for a nameless nobody like me. Sure, in another life I was the great DJ; DJ-PON3, but in this one I was just me. Just nobody.
Honestly, it crushed me. It destroyed my ability to work on my songs for over a year. I was constantly thinking about how I wasn't good enough.
However, last year I hear a new song. A different guy, with a strange anime profile picture who rapped about the same things that had destroyed my motivation. It was the same subject, but instead of being sad it was... hopeful. It was a song about a man who wouldn't quit working on what they loved, who would continue to work at their craft, and who would above all else, follow their dreams.
It was exactly what I needed to hear.
I began working again after that. I still worked a shitty full time job that had nothing to do with music, because, even with her ass-load of symphony money, I refuse to stop working and put it all on Octavia to support me while I failed at following my dreams. But I was mixing again. I was singing again. I was writing again... I was hopeful again.
I threw my unfinished cigarette on the ground and stamped it out underfoot before returning to my office where I found Octavia exactly as I had left her. She smiled at me and I at her as I sat back at my desk and got back to work.
The song still needed a title.
I sighed and took another drink, now completely sure I was drunk.
That didn't matter.
I listened to the beat I already produced and what few lyrics I had sang and nodded to the beat. It was all coming along.
To an outsider this would look like a relatively mundane affair. It was just a woman writing a normal song as her wife sat in the corner and drank coffee, but for me it was so much more. This song had to be perfect, because in a way, it was my goodbye letter. I was still going to continue to write songs, but I needed this closure on a chapter of my life that was, by all rights, over. I took another deep drink from my cup and held it to Octavia, she smiled and ran to grab me another one without a word. She didn't want to distract me as I did this.
She had been so caring and considerate tonight, I would have to make it up to her in the morning. Maybe, breakfast in bed and a passionate fuck? I asked myself as she left the room.
I was getting distracted again I noticed.
I sighed and replaced my headphones on my head. I was so close to being finished, but I needed to find the right words to add to the song. These people didn't know me. They never talked to me. To top it all off, only about three of them had listened to all of my songs and that was four years ago, and even still... I needed to tell them goodbye properly.
I owed all of my listeners so much and they would probably never even realize how much.
I continued to work slowly, but with purpose. I thought of everything I wanted the song to say, and pushed myself to continue my work.
It stunned me how much a simple three minute song meant to me.
I wanted it to sum up everything that my old website had done for me. All of my love and hope and thanks. I wanted them all to know it wasn't so much a goodbye letter as it was a 'thank you' to all of the people who supported me.
Octavia hummed a bit as she looked at my lyrics over my shoulder. I hadn't even seen her move.
"I think you're almost done." she sighed with a smile. I returned her smile and looked at my window as the horizon began to turn from black to blue. Had I been doing this that long? I looked at my wife as she smiled sweetly at me and I finally noticed the bags under her eyes and that the cup in her hand had been empty for a while, as was mine again.
I decided we didn't need refills. I was very drunk, and she was very tired.
"I'm not ready. I need to listen to with my head clear." I sighed.
"Come back to it in the morning, my love." she said as she nestled her head into the crook of my neck.
"I need to mow in the morning." I mumbled.
"I can mow."
"I need to clean the kitchen."
"You don't need to do everything."
"I need you to do this." she kissed my neck causing me to shudder. "I need your head clear again."
"If you do this, I'll let you do dishes and mow for the next month." she giggled.
"Fine." I said as I stood from my chair. Octavia, her arms still wrapped around my shoulders and her head still pressed into my neck followed me.
As we laid in bed I stared at the clock above the bed. Six-thirty in the morning. Octavia started snoring quietly the moment we stepped into the bedroom. I had gently laid her on her side of the bed and slid next to her, ready to sleep. I did not.
I continued to think and wondered if all of my effort would even be worth it. I wondered if anyone that cared about my music would even realize what my final song was.
The last time I looked at the clock before sleep took me it said eight o'clock.
When I awoke I could hear Octavia outside the house mowing the yard. I made my way back to the study and reviewed my work. It seemed directionless and pointless. The lyrics sounded like someone who made a pointless song which was exactly what I wanted. It would mean nothing to anyone but me and the people that recognized the song for what it was.
I whispered one last lyric in the last few seconds of the song, almost too quiet to be heard. "I love you, guys."
I listened to the song one last time and held the cursor over the large green UPLOAD on my screen while it played.
It all started five years ago...
I would sing in the rain, and sing in the snow...
I would stare at the page with the clock overturned...
I would work all night, but never feel alone....
My friends by my side...
My wife in my mind...
I knew then...
That I would be alright...
I'm going to make a change
And all my dreams I'll still chase
I'm going to find my way
I'm going to find my place
This is the end for us
But not for me....
I'll make my mark
And you'll all be...
In my heart, In my head
On a shelf by my bed
In my mind, In my sole
Wherever I am you will go
It started as a hobby
and nothing more
In hotel lobby
or bedroom floor
I would work
I would cry
I would sweat
But, I still climbed
She pushes me on
even when I fall
But, she's not alone
This is me
Who I am
I will now
Take a stand
I'll move on
I will fly
I'll be strong
But, I'll still cry
It's not wrong
To say goodbye...
I love you guys...
I smiled as a tear rolled down my cheek. It was perfect.
I took one last breath, and then pressed the button.