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Terrible Things

16 - The Words I Need To Hear Will Always Get Me Through The Day, I Miss You

Alex’s POV

“So guys listen up, this next song is for a very special person who we all lost earlier this year,” I began, “and Jack just wants to say something.”

The entirety of the crowd hushed, to an almost awkward silence, knowing who we were talking about immediately.

It was the first time Jack had addressed the situation so publicly, and I knew they weren’t expecting him to do so today, but today was special. I’d seen people in the crowd with signs, wishing her a happy birthday, and I knew their hearts were in the right place, I just wasn’t sure Jack was going to be able to take it.

“Hey guys,” Jack started nervously, “I just wanted to address something today. Today was going to be my wife’s birthday, she would’ve been 27. I wanted to do something to remember her on stage; I want to help keep her memory alive, because she’s still very much alive in my heart. If you’ve ever lost someone, a parent, a grandparent, a sibling, a child, a friend, I want you to sing this out to them. I want you all to sing and remember what they meant to you, what they MEAN to you, and how much you wish you still had them by your side. Sing out so they can hear you, let them know how much you miss them, can you do that for me?” the crowd cheered in recognition, “Good. Now this song was one of Leah’s favourites, and it’s perfect for you guys to help remember your loved one you have lost. See if you recognise it, yeah?” He looked at me, and I nodded slightly as he wiped away a stray tear that was falling.

Jack began playing, there was a low murmur from the crowd as they recognised the iconic opening chords and hesitantly I opened my mouth to sing.

“There’s no-one in town I know,
You gave us some place to go,
I never said thank you for that,
I thought I might get one more chance.”

The entire crowd sang the heartbreaking lyrics; it was low and quiet, but powerful. Each person had their own story, their own agony behind the song. They were all singing to the people they had lost. It was amazing and I was moved to tears.

“What would you think of me now?
So lucky, so strong, so proud?
I never said thank you for that
Now I’ll never have the chance”

I saw a girl of maybe 12 or 13 in the crowd, her face stained with tears, she seemed to whisper the lyrics, her voice not setting itself free. I saw that pain at losing that loved one show in her face, and I smiled reassuringly at her, and she just gave me a weak smile back.

The chorus came and the crowd erupted into a chant, it wasn’t loud, but they didn’t need to be. I looked to my best friend, I knew he was struggling, he’d barely made it through rehearsals…and now, with everyone here, it was that much harder.

“May angels lead you in,
Hear you me my friends,
On sleepless roads the sleepless go,
May angels lead you in.”

I singled in to a boy of about 18, he, like all the others in the crowd, had tears falling down his cheeks. His head raised to the heavens as he sang the chorus. As we went to a small interlude of just instrumental, I decided to ask him who he was singing to, and he shouted back, “My girlfriend” before smiling weakly.

I started up the next verse and it seemed everyone in the crowd was singing straight from the heart, whether it be to a loved one, or just to Leah, either way the entire crowd serenaded the clouds and for the next verse I decided to drop out completely.

“What would you think of me now,
So lucky, so strong, so proud?
I never said thank you for that
Now I’ll never have the chance.
May angels lead you in,
Hear you me my friends,
On sleepless roads the sleepless go,
May angels lead you in.”

At this point Cassadee came out on stage to sing the haunting bridge, and I bounced off her vocals.

The crowd had grown since the beginning of the song, everyone who had been stood around or making their way to another stage had stopped, drawing themselves closer to our stage and singing the devastating ballad to the stage and to the sky. I’d never seen anything like it, a crowd of thousands of people singing for one purpose, and I’d never HEARD anything like it, so much heartbreak, so much pain all in one place. It was stunning.

As the crowd sang along, I noticed Jack getting weaker and weaker, his entire body language was that of a man in severe pain. His body was shaking, tears falling heavier and heavier, and all I wanted was to go to him, make sure he was OK.

Cass noticed this, and she walked towards him, wrapping an arm around his shoulders, pulling his head into her chest, letting him know he wasn’t alone. He shook in her arms, abandoning any idea of playing his instrument, just letting it all out. Jack had never cried on stage. I knew he had been nervous about breaking down so publicly, but he had been so determined to give her this one last tribute. The music had stopped as I’d been so engrossed in watching my best friend break down on stage, and Jack was obviously not in any state to play anymore. I looked to the side, silently begging for someone to save us, as the crowd murmured in confusion and concern.

Danny made his way on stage, gently prying the guitar from Jack’s shaking hands and lifting the strap over his head, before he pulled it over his own head, and looked at me for the go-ahead, but before we could do anything, Leo and Isla rushed from their spot side stage. They approached their broken father slowly, almost scared, before Isla pulled her father’s sleeve, and pulled his face down so she could wrap her arms around his neck, clinging to him. A man of almost 30, crying into his four year old daughter’s arms, in that moment I don’t think I’d ever seen him look so broken, and I’d experienced every breakdown he’d had since Leah had passed.

I nodded slightly to Danny, before he began up the chords again, Jack still wrapped in Isla’s arms sobbing.

I instructed people to pull out lighters, mobile phones, cameras or anything to wave in the air. It wasn’t late, maybe 5 o’clock, but the scene that unfolded was incredible. Every single person in the audience pulled out some form of light and swayed it in the crowd, above their heads.

I noticed Adam out of the corner of my eye filming the entire scene, his eyes also filled with tears, but also with incredulity at what seemed an impossible sight.

Mine and Danny’s instruments died down to just one strum for each chord for Leah’s favourite verse, and I noticed Jack had pulled his head out of Isla’s embrace to raise his head slightly to
face the heavens, singing the verse out to her. Remembering her.

“So if you were with me tonight,
I’d sing to you just one more time.
A song for a heart so big,
But God wouldn’t let it live.”

I caught sight of Austin stood to the side of the stage, he was in Jack’s eye line and he was smiling sadly at Jack. We caught each other’s eyes and he mouthed “smashed it”, before turning his attention back to the crowd, his mouth dropped slightly in awe at the monstrous amount of noise that escalated from the final chorus.

“May angels lead you in,
Hear you me my friends,
On sleepless roads the sleepless go,
May angels lead you in.”

I finished the song, tears becoming quicker and Jack broke down, tears rushing down his cheeks as he looked up to the sky and I watched as he whispered out a “I love you Leah, I miss you so much. I’m so sorry” before the entire crowd went quiet after the song. Jack stood up from his stool and rushed off stage before I could even thank him or the crowd.
♠ ♠ ♠
This was an incredibly hard chapter to write, and I may or may not have cried writing it.

I hope you guys don't hate me for taking so long to update...I'm trying!!

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Thanks if you're still interested :P

Title Credit - 'Miss You' by Blink-182