Where did I go wrong? I lost a friend somewhere alone in the bitterness...
The guitarist was singing that song, as far as I remember. I wish I could recall the other ones, but you know how you just get wrapped in some moments and can't really remember the specifics, but know exactly how you felt? This was like that.
The guitarist was the exact image of a cliche romance novel; he was beautiful and talented, but what stood out the most was how much he loved the music. As a musician myself, he inspires me every time I play. I remember walking into the cruise ship bar, snatching for myself some time alone. I was drawn to the prospect of a live performance, as always. I stood against a pillar not too close to him, but not too far away either. He finished his song with a flourish and looked up to notice me.
"Hey there," he said into the microphone, grinning, I think, at my shyness. "Why don't you take a seat?"
I honestly didn't know he was addressing me until later. When I didn't reply, he chuckled like he'd expected as much. "Alright then, you can stand." He started another song.
I don't know how long I stood there watching him, my heart skipping a beat when he'd catch my eyes and smile. It wasn't that I was attracted to him, I wasn't. I was attracted to the aura he sent out, the way he loved everything about that night. Finally I sat at a table, looking at the passing ocean through the window. It was beautiful.
After maybe an hour, my cousin found me. I'd hidden away from my family to get some time to explore that magnificent ship. She sat with me for awhile and we watched him play, then she took me to the club.
Instead of dancing, most of the people there were standing against the wall. I saw someone near the edge, looking lonely. He barely spoke any English, so I had to use my minute skills with the Spanish language to talk with him. He was the quiet sort of charming, and eventually we left the club in order to hear each other. I took him to see the guitarist.
When we got there, the guitarist looked up. He saw me and he positively beamed. It was like he was waiting for me to find someone nice. It was contagious. I grinned back. The boy I met, Alex, and I danced for the longest time to his music. I think if I had to sum up my favorite experience so far, it would be that night.
I was clumsy in my wedges, but Alex just smiled and helped me not to fall. Whenever I glanced at the guitarist, he caught my eye and smiled. It was like it was impossible for him not to be happy. And to top it all off, his music was beautiful. Though I doubt Alex understood the lyrics, he laughed when I sang along and even chimed in on the chorus sometimes.
After a while, we walked on the decks. The ship was lit up and the wind was in our hair, making us tear up. I was laughing at things he was saying... or at least I'm pretty sure he said those things. It was hard for me to understand because he talked so quickly. We watched the ocean for awhile, humming the songs.
When we went back inside, I made Alex go back to the bar with me. The guitarist was still there, his guitar aside as he said goodnight. I pretended not to look at him when we walked by because Alex was watching me. But I saw him wave in our direction and I smiled under my hair. Whenever I hear that song ("How to Save a Life" by The Fray), I think of that night. I'm glad, too. I really don't want to forget.