Amelia Johnston sat alone on the waterfront, legs crossed underneath her, arms stretched on each side of her along the back of the bench, eyes closed, head back, breathing. Just breathing. Concentrating in, out, in out. The seashore always calmed her even as it made her introspective. It was a good thing, a positive thing. Its soothing effects would linger for hours after she returned to the daily routine that was her life.
She wasn’t given to anxiety or worry, but every now and again stress would tug at her and if she didn’t pay heed, caused bone-weary exhaustion that took a massive toll. As a result, she’d learned to take time for herself, and found these moments worth their weight in gold aiding in gaining perspective on what was happening in her life. It gave her time to reflect on close family and friends.
Jason was working longer and longer hours and though she understood all too well what his life was like, it wasn’t making their life together any easier. His work as a conductor was involved although exciting and often exhausting. It took its toll.
Before meeting Jason, she hadn’t understood the temperament that went with musicians…not all, but some, especially the incredibly talented ones. It seemed he worked at babysitting many, calming ragged nerves while encouraging others or harping on those that didn’t take their position in the orchestra seriously enough. Often he’d come home, throw himself on the sofa and veg. without saying a word to her.
They’d been together four years and she’d watched the same routine happen day in and day out but more so lately. His downtime, well, what there was of it, was spent writing and rewriting the next performance, and when he could eke out enough time, he’d work on his own musical score, a piece he’d been honing since she’d first met him. He was often vocal about the fact it took a back seat to everything else. He loved his job, he’d worked hard to become the Philharmonic Orchestra Leader, and he was incredibly talented and gifted.
While taking all of that into consideration, she’d reached a point of concern for their relationship. It was at a standstill…he worked hard toward his goals and his writing and their time together was evaporating, had evaporated gradually at first, but lately, it was nearly nonexistent.
He’d become self-absorbed (his thoughts focusing on his craft) to the exclusion of everything else. They didn’t attend parties anymore, didn’t eat out, didn’t just sit and relax cuddling together while watching a silly movie. He’d grown silent, morose, distant, excluding her bit by bit. In the beginning, he’d apologized when something encroached on their private time, but lately, he simply got up and left. She wouldn’t see him again until bedtime and then it was all too often accompanied by a peck on the cheek and he’d be asleep almost the second his head hit the pillow.
She wanted to rail against what was happening; she loved him. They were good together, or so she’d thought. Amelia had tried talking to him, gently but firmly, without adding to the stress and pressure she knew he was already under. Still, it had to be said, they – ok, she, needed to know if there was a way to get back what they’d once felt or if it was over and she was the last to understand it.
When she rose from the park bench, she headed home to prepare his favourite meal, after which she fully intended on cornering him to ask what was happening, if he’d noticed and if he truly cared. Her heart ached at the thought that he might have given up on them, that there wasn’t a “them” in his mind anymore.
Amelia knew one thing, they couldn’t remain in this limbo any longer. They had to face it, together, and if possible make the necessary changes for them both. Time to face the music. She smirked then became serious, yeah, “time to face the music” she whispered aloud, “and find out where they stood”.