[inspired] Chapter 2: Somewhere here on Earth

On the nights Joshua Isaiah downed his sleeping pills, he’d wake up with a headache the morning after. On those mornings, he woke with the sun. This morning was different from all the others. He awoke when it was almost noon. He stretched his arms, picked out his outfit for the day and gave himself a hot shower. For minutes, he just let the warm water run down his back, trying to wake himself out of the dream he plummeted into the moment he lost consciousness. He washed his face with soap and doused his dark hair with his favorite shampoo and conditioner. No matter what he did, he couldn’t wake himself up from the dream. He couldn’t get that face out of his mind. After getting a moment of clarity, he turned the water off and said, “I must have seen that face a thousand times.”

He quickly towel-dried his hair and wrapped another towel around his waist before rushing to his notebook. He flipped through the marked pages and realized that he had seen her face before. Minutes later, the vision started fading. He reached into the drawers and found a black pencil. He sketched the face that had haunted him in his dreams for so long. With each stroke, he held onto the picture a little longer. He darkened her eyelashes, her eyebrows and shaded where shading was needed. Once he finished, he gazed it at for a few extra minutes before he got dressed. 

This day, he fancied a white suit and tucked a blue handkerchief into his jacket’s front pocket. He took a quick look in the mirror to get his hair just right. He grimaced at the crack he left in it, but didn’t pay it too much concern. He took the notebook and made his way to the steps. He slowly walked down, sliding his left hand down the banister and clutched the open notebook in his other hand. He walked past his employees, who started asking questions. He just said, “Shiezka, could you order me a new mirror for my bedroom? And Pierre, just eggs Benedict and a glass of Perrier, thank you.”

He took a seat at the long mahogany dinner table in the room across from his study. The morning paper and his breakfast were brought to him within moments of his arrival. He gazed at the date and almost choked on his Perrier. His mind automatically said, “I have half a year until I turn 50. I’m running out of time.” His eyes met with the gaze of the sketch of his muse and the anxiety became a thing of the past. He finished his breakfast without taking his eyes off her. The more he looked, the more he thought he might have seen her somewhere before. “I could have seen her elsewhere, not just in my dreams. But there’s no way of knowing for sure.”

After finishing up, he took his notebook, tucked the morning paper under his arm and returned to the grand piano. He sat down before the piano, placing the sketch next to him on the bench. His fingers played the keys that came to mind. He hammered away the sadness that plagued his lonely heart before stopping. He sighed, looking at the sketch. His heart skipped a beat and led him to continue playing. A beautiful melody poured from his heart and ran to his fingertips. His smile grew as he could hear a flute playing in his mind. He played that melody several times before words came to mind.

He quickly made a note of the keys he repeated over and over and started writing the words that came to mind. He sung in his falsetto and kept his fingertips on different keys. Before even a minute of singing passed by, he shut his eyes and let his heart dictate the notes he played. Images of the girl flooded his mind and he couldn’t take his mind off her. After he finished playing, he sighed, “That was one for the books. Too bad I didn’t foresee that coming. I could have recorded this the first chance I got.” He just shrugged it off and went up to his bedroom to wash and moisturize his hands. After doing so, he spent the remainder of the afternoon in his study with the morning paper. The first couple of pages were about the crises going on in the world or locally. He shook his head and just kept turning.

The song came back to mind in the form of the flute. He recalled the notes he played and how the flute would just fit. He folded the morning paper, tucked it under his arm and took his notebook down to his built-in studio. That’s where he played, recorded and mixed his music to make his albums. In one room sat all of his instruments. Since he got his first contract, he started taking up different instruments and learning how to play them. He had a drum set, keyboards, two grand pianos, a flute and more guitars than he could hope to count. He gingerly lifted the flute out of the already open leather case and started playing. He quickly found the right note and started playing however his heart told him to play. After playing the same notes over and over, he put it aside and started experimenting with some light percussion. “This song is going to have class, I can just feel it.” All he needed to do was tap the cymbals lightly and that was the sound he needed.

He resolved to record this song while he still had the inspiration flowing. Then he realized that he didn’t have a name. He gazed on the sketch of his muse and realized, “She’s out there somewhere. She’s here on this Earth. I just need to find her.” The rest of the words came to him and before he started recording, he wrote the title on the top of the page.

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