Love Struck (Miss Match #2)

By: Laurelin McGee

So FolxNotDead27 knew LoveCoda worked a full-time day job and that she was in the industry, but nothing more. Questions like the one she’d asked about his tour, genuine among friends, were also somewhat charged. Even though she was sure they wouldn’t do it often, the moderators could read the PMs if they wanted. And who knew what sort of information exchange they’d consider crossing the line? Those decisions were made completely at their discretion.

Stop dodging. Tell me your news, Love!

Of everyone she knew, this was the only person she wanted to talk to about the studio session. The only one who would understand, so even though it was delving into the area of “not anonymous,” she plunged in. The recording session I had booked for January got bumped up due to a cancellation.

What?! That’s fabulous! This was the intended beauty of the forum. Shared celebration of successes was exactly the sort of thing the founders had hoped for.

This, however, was not what Lacy would call a success.

How can you say that? Think I can get away with doing an album of American Standards? You know I have nothing to record.

He was the only one who knew that, actually.

And this was why the anonymity factor had drawn Lacy to the forum in the first place. Only here, where she wouldn’t be judged or pitied or encouraged to start taking an anti-depressant, could she admit her big secret. Could admit that, since Lance’s death, she’d been blocked. More than blocked—she’d been paralyzed.

Every single morning since The Worst Day Ever (this one was an absolute, not a category), she’d picked up her favorite beat-up guitar, the one she’d named Lucky when she was fifteen and considered it to be. Lucky and Lacy had sat on the window seat overlooking Tremont Street and strummed and waited for the words to come, the words that would unlock the pain she carried inside. Every day she somehow lived while her love did not, the words dried up in her throat, becoming a knotted tangle of unrealized lyrics that grew until she set the guitar aside, gasping for air.

I won’t let you do that. What kind of timeframe are we looking at?

This, this was exactly why she felt such an intense bond with this faceless man on the other side of the screen. He cared, enough to reach out a hand to her. Again. And again. It seemed like every time she’d lost it this year, wondering if she’d ever write again, or if her career was over before it began, he’d been there to pull her back up.

Her hands were sweaty as she typed. Ten weeks.

Easy. We got this.

We do? She loved how he attached himself to her problem with his “we.” It gave her comfort, misguided as it was.

Yeah, we do. We just have to change our tactics. We were waiting for your block to disappear on its own. Now we’ll have to be more aggressive with our approach to break through.

More aggressive. As if she hadn’t already tried with every ounce of her being. Folx was well aware of her attempts. He wasn’t trying to belittle her situation—she knew that. He was being supportive. It didn’t change the truth, though, and she confessed her worst fears now. I’m scared, Folx. What if I’m dry forever? What if inspiration never strikes again?

It will. And I know you’re scared, but we’ll get through this. I’ll make sure of it.

What are you going to do, exactly? She smiled at the monitor, waiting.

Anything it takes.

That night, she fell asleep with those words dancing across the backs of her lids, her soul a little more hopeful as the strains of the Blue Hills beat a soundtrack through her memory in time with her heartbeat.

Chapter Four

“Okay, I should warn you. My wedding planner is kind of terrifying.” Andy glanced over at Lacy from her plastic Charlie seat.

“Right. Terrifying.” Lacy was already wary about the outing. Only a little more than a year ago she was planning her own wedding. Though she’d been “fine” through the months since, was it really a good idea to spend the day reminiscing about her own choices? The group of singer-songwriter friends she’d chosen as her musicians, the daisies—the first flower Lance had ever given her—the old theater that she’d picked as her venue. They constantly sat at the edge of her conscience, haunting her. Though she was hopeful they’d one day pour out of her in song, she was also terrified that instead they’d explode when she least expected it. Like while sitting through her sister’s planning meeting.

But wait—why was Andy scared? “Terrifying like how, exactly?”

Andy offered a hesitant frown.

“Hey, I’ve seen every wedding planner movie, including the JLo one. And I’ve been to lots of weddings. Hell, I’ve played enough weddings to have the drill down pat. So I can say with authority that planners are just there to make sure your shit goes smoothly. No reason to be scared. If you’re freaked, it’s probably because you’re freaked about the whole shebang. Which is natural.”

Lacy hoped she sounded comforting, though she really wanted to say, Sheesh, Andy, get it together. The planner she’d hired was obviously good. Lacy had double-checked on all the online bridal boards and found he was by far the planner most recommended. It wasn’t really fair for Andy to blame her insecurity on the poor guy just because her wedding was going to be widely reported. Which was what happened when you married one of the city’s richest businessmen.

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