Not inspired by the song, but hey, there isn’t a better name for this chapter. I thought of the idea of ending the last chapter like that close to the last minute and I felt so guilty about it that I had to follow it up with something huge. It was ridiculous and I apologize for that [Prince, if u ever read this]. As for this chapter, it’s been something I’ve wanted to explain for a while and it does highlight some of the things that happened to O(+> and could very well be the reason why he hasn’t found anyone since. What happened with Susan didn’t necessarily happen with his soulmate (we all know who she is), but at one of the two “events” did actually happen. Whether or not Prince ever had a realization like this or a dream quite like this one, I can’t say for sure. It goes very deep, far beyond what Prince himself would allow people to learn about him. Who can really say for sure if any of his dreams has shown him Truths quite like this? Only he knows for sure.
Being bed-ridden for a few weeks with his back out didn’t keep Isaiah from doing what he loved. He continued to write in his notebook all of the lyrics and “visions” of instruments that came to mind. Chelsea served him tea whenever he asked, but he insisted being left alone. Delilah and Patty decided to take off at Isaiah’s request. He said that he could handle things, but he didn’t want to be criticized for his recent actions. He didn’t go into the details with Chelsea. She decided to just let him keep his secrets and not pry into his business.
During those weeks, he summoned a few of his fellow musicians that had toured extensively with him. They specialized in saxophones and other brass instruments. Although Isaiah had taught himself to play several different instruments over the years, he figured his lungs could be put to better use singing than working extra hard on brass. He hired a physical therapist to help him get down to the studio as soon as possible. He had his favorite guitar nearby, but no other room had the acoustics he preferred. He needed assistance getting there and back. Being the musician he was, the trips were very frequent. After a while, he just decided to live in the studio’s sitting area for the remainder of his recovery. He talked plans over with Delilah and Patty over that last week. They both called him to ask how he was and each side apologized for their actions.
Not a day went by when he didn’t recall that ‘leap of faith’ that got him in this condition. He shook his head constantly and painfully admitted he was getting old. He realized that he had to find his muse soon rather than later. For several days, he begged her to visit his dreams, but she didn’t come. The only relief he found was playing the grand piano extensively and writing a few other songs from his pleading heart. Those were too personal to release on any album, so they were put away in another of his secret rooms. After writing five, he looked around, “I’m going to need a lot more shelving space for these.”
After a week of dreamless nights, Isaiah decided to turn to his biggest inspiration. He spent hours at a time reading the Bible book that shared his name. With each page he turned, he prayed that he would be blessed with an answer to his many questions. On the third night, he finished the book and went straight to bed. He lit a stick of incense to help get him to sleep; sleeping pills wouldn’t help him dream and he realized that taking them was cheating. If he wanted to be blessed with an answer, he had to sleep as naturally as possible. He felt an unseen force wrapped around his weary body and was out cold within five minutes of lying down.
When he opened his eyes within the dream, he found himself back on his feet. He believed his back finally healed, but he remembered it was a dream. He was standing in an empty hotel room with a bed, a bedside table and a large mirror. He felt his heart tremble with a hope he hadn’t felt in a long time. Isaiah instantly knew his wish would be granted. A chill ran down his spine when he saw that mirror. It was slightly taller than him.
He came face to face with his own reflection and ran his right hand up and down the mirror. Fear surged through his veins; the last time he came face to face with a mirror, it shattered and led him into his reoccurring nightmare. This time, it didn’t shatter. A kind, female voice then spoke, “They say eyes are the mirror to one’s soul. Look into your soul and you will find your answers.”
He nodded towards the darkness and continued running his fingers along the mirror. Fear kept surging; he didn’t know what he’d find, but he knew it couldn’t be good. “Don’t be afraid. Once you see the truth, you can move forward.” He whispered and watched his reflection whisper, “The truth…” He looked into his own eyes and saw an insurmountable sadness behind them. He removed his hand from the cold mirror, “How long have I worn that look? It must have been such a long time.” He exhaled and inhaled, his breathing echoed in that empty room. He took a few steps back and looked around. “Is that the truth?” He kept asking himself. He spent what felt like hours between pacing and sitting on the bed with his face in his hands.
“I don’t want to subject myself to this loneliness anymore.” He finally said. He stood up and looked around. He expected someone to come out of the shadows. No one came. “I want someone to see me for me. I don’t want her to see me for how the media sees me. A natural beauty unaffected by their lies. Someone who doesn’t just inspires my work and supports my music.” He returned to the mirror and continued his thoughts as he reached out to his reflection. “I haven’t even met her yet. Yet, she’s making me reach deep inside myself to see what I really want.” He looked at his eyes in the mirror and saw a new light that came with a new realization. “God created each and every one of us. He put his love into our very souls. Since I started dreaming about her, she’s made it easier to talk to God. She’s brought me closer to him. I’ve slowly started to see who he wants me to be. He only wants me to be happy, inside and out.”
Isaiah continued pacing, continuing this revelation. Before he could take a set further, he turned around to look at the mirror again. This time, he saw something else. It was blurry so he came closer. He stopped cold when he saw a face he hadn’t looked at in a long time. Her smile made his heart leap with a hope that they still had one another. He saw her just as she was before they lost each other. He ran his fingers up and down her image and she followed his hand as his mirror image. He nodded, “This is how soul mates are. She was the reflection of myself within the heart of another person.” He stood up straight when her image stopped following him. He knelt down, this time to feel the warmth of her hand. He smiled, “We could have had so much.” He rubbed the back of his hand against the back of hers. He placed a hand on her rounded stomach. “Everything was perfect. Because I acted selfishly, we both lost so much. The perfect life… we lost each other so long ago. I could have done something, anything to keep you here with me where you belonged. Both of you… we all lost something that day… there’s no getting any of that back. I have to realize that I’ll never find you again.” He stood up and looked into her eyes. Her eyes showed the concern she often felt for him. Whenever he worked too hard or was going through one of his inner struggles, she was there for him.
“You gave me everything. You were going to give me the most wonderful gift. Because of me…” He shook his head, “I messed up big time.”
“It’s not your fault.” The kind voice returned to him. He approached the mirror again. This time, his muse was looking back at him. “Don’t blame yourself, Isaiah. There was nothing you could have done.” He put a hand to the mirror and her hand followed his. Her smile warmed his heart. “Please allow yourself to love again. First, you have to forgive yourself. If you can’t do that, you’ll never move on.” She seemed so sure in her words. Isaiah couldn’t figure how she knew all this. He then remembered this was a dream. He said to her, “You speak the words of God. You are my God-given muse.” He reached a hand to meet hers, “I’ll do what I can to bring you to my side. I promise you that I will love you like I loved no other. In good faith, you will be returned to me. We will meet in a time and place where I can feel the warmth of your hand, the feel of your embrace and the taste of your kiss.” He could feel his heart smile. He knew Susan would have wanted him to find another love that could finish where she left off.
Shockingly, he saw Susan and his muse in the mirror together, hand in hand. It was as if she was passing the torch. He could feel the atmosphere weakening around him. His hand started to shake as he reached it to Susan. She put her palm to the mirror and he felt her warm touch. “I do love you, Susan… there will always be room in my heart for the memories. For the hopes I had for our perfect life with you… and with Jason. I will always love you forever.” As he spoke, he felt the tears run down his face. He didn’t wipe them away; he wore them proudly. She nodded and her smiling mouth said, ‘I know you will.’
“Don’t forget your promises, Josh.” His muse smiled. “No matter what, be true to yourself. Be true to your heart and your soul. You will always have God’s love and as long as you embrace that, you will be blessed with life’s greatest gift. Love.” He nodded to his muse, “Until then, my love… ciao.”
The morning light woke Isaiah up several hours later. He slipped on his robe and looked at himself in the mirror across from his bed. He took a good look at his face. He squinted and noticed conspicuous remnants of tears under each eye. He wiped them away and swore to himself that he’d embrace the truth and keep moving forward. He checked out the calendar and started his daily routine. His birthday was less than a week away.