By: Penelope Ward

It was nice out, so I knew they would have Justin performing outside. I kept glancing over to the small stage to see if he was there. It was past eight, and he hadn’t made an appearance yet.

Sometime close to eight-thirty, I was in the middle of serving a large party of ten when I first heard it: the chilling sound of a soulful voice that was not familiar in the least. He gave no introduction. No warning. He just started to sing out the first few words, followed by the strum of his guitar. The song that Justin had chosen to start with was a cover of Ain’t No Sunshine by Bill Withers.

The entire room soon quieted down, and all eyes were on the stunning blond male specimen with the spotlight shining down on him. Despite the fact that I was carrying a large round tray of dirty dishes, I couldn’t move. The vibration of his thick, smoky singing voice had completely paralyzed me, penetrating my body and soul.

Aside from the lone teardrop that fell the night he lost it on me during steak dinner, I hadn’t shed any more tears—until now. It was all too much. Hearing how different his voice sounded, how he’d trained it over the years, was a wake-up call as to how much I had missed. All of the hours of practice that must have gone into honing that beautiful voice, and I wasn’t there for any of it. The guilt, the emotions, the reality of a decade gone…everything started to pummel me at once. Not to mention the song—about a girl leaving. It probably had nothing to do with me, but in my mind, it sure as hell felt like it did.

You had to have true talent to perform solo acoustically. All eyes were on you and nothing else. There were no distractions to take away from a cracked voice or any other screw ups. Justin sang the song flawlessly. The vibration of his voice was like a deep massage to my entire being. My heart filled with pride. Whether he liked it or not, I was so damn proud of him.

At the same time, I felt a rush of antsy excitement, much like a teenager seeing a boy band in concert. Adrenaline was pumping through me. A part of me wanted to just shout, “This is my Justin! I knew him way back when.” Another part of me wanted to rush the stage and wrap my arms around him.

The way his fingers worked the guitar effortlessly almost rivaled the sexiness of his voice. Women were starting to leave their tables, throwing money down at his feet.


Did they think he would start undressing or something if they gave him enough? I’d just never seen anyone throw money around here like that before. They certainly never threw dollar bills at The Ruckus. I guess that was just the type of effect Justin had on women.

By the third song, I needed a breather. Retreating to the bathroom, I splashed water on my face before returning to the tables just in time to hear him finally speak into the microphone in a low and sultry voice.

“I’m Justin Banks from New York City. I’ll be here for the next few weeks. Thanks for coming out tonight.”

Applause and a few whistles rang out. My focus on Justin had prevented me from tending to my customers. A few of them were waving me down, antsy for refills, so I took their orders and made my way over to the bar.

Justin took a sip of beer then spoke through the mic again. “This next song is an original I recently wrote myself. Hope you like it.” He strummed the guitar once and added, “It’s called, She Likes to Watch.”

My body stilled upon hearing the title, and it took a few seconds to register.

“This song goes out to all the sneaky little voyeurs out there. You know who you are.”

The retaliation that I’d assumed he’d waived was in fact simply delayed and about to be dished out in all its glory. I refused to look over toward the stage. The bartender placed the drinks in front of me, and I forced my wobbly legs to move long enough to drop them off to their rightful owners before the song started.

She pretends to be a good girl,

Quiet and refined.

But Daddy always said,

Those are the worst kind.

Turns out he was right.

As I found out the other night...

She likes to watch.

Mmm hmm…she likes to watch.

You think you are alone,

Until you hear that little moan.

She likes to watch.

Mmm hmm…she likes to watch.

She’ll catch you naked and exposed,

When you think the door is closed.

She’s a princess and a voyeur,

Curiosity will destroy her.

Maybe therapy will heal ya,

It’s not too late for you, Amelia.

She likes to watch.

Mmm hmm…she likes to watch.

And my kinky little friend,

Insists on staying till the end.

She likes to watch.

Mmm hmm…she likes to watch.

When the song eventually ended, the crowd went wild. They apparently loved the idea behind it. Did he really have to put my name in there? A part of me was mortified, but I had to admit, there was another part of me that was…relieved. His writing the song was a little reminder of the way things used to be.

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