By: Penelope Ward

Then, he started to sing, and I was a goner.

My soul was sick, but you were the cure.

Never before felt a love so pure.

That thing I once feared the most,

Now turns my heart to toast.

Bea-u-tiful Girl,

I didn’t make you, but you were made for me.

Bea-u-tiful Girl,

Thank you for helping me see,

The way life was meant to be.

With every one of your cries,

A part of my heart dies.

But you’ll smile at me and then,

Put it back together again.

Bea-u-tiful Girl,

I didn’t make you, but you were made for me.

Bea-u-tiful Girl,

Thank you for helping me see,

The way life was meant to be.

An angel in disguise,

Is reflected in the eyes,

Of a little Bumblebee.

Thank you for choosing me.

Bea-u-tiful Girl,

I didn’t make you, but you were made for me.

Bea-u-tiful Girl,

Thank you for helping me see,

The way life was meant to be.

When the song finished, Justin received a standing ovation. My eyes were stinging from tears of joy. His writing that song for her touched me on so many levels. I wished so much that she could understand the words.

Justin disappeared from sight as they shut down the stage for a bit to set up for Calvin. My badge was supposed to give me backstage access, but we hadn’t discussed logistics. I wasn’t sure if I should try to go back there now, or wait for a text from him, maybe watch some of Calvin’s performance.

Anxious to see him and tell him how much I loved the song, I lifted myself and Bea out of the seat and made my way down the long center aisle to the entrance. An usher directed us to the backstage entrance. A large security guard greeted me there.

“Do you have a badge?”

Flashing it, I said, “Yes. I’m Justin Banks’ girlfriend, and this is his daughter.”

He examined the badge again more closely and stepped aside, gesturing behind him. “Right this way. He’s in dressing room four.”

The door was cracked open, and it shocked me to find that Justin wasn’t alone. I immediately moved to the side so that I could avoid being seen while I listened to their conversation.

“I hope you don’t mind my coming here,” she said. “When I heard you were playing in town, I just had to see you. I contacted Steve, and he gave me a backstage pass.”

“Of course, I don’t mind. It’s really good to see you, Jade.”

Even though a little bit of jealousy was creeping in, it wasn’t anything like what it used to be. My confidence in his feelings toward me now overrode that insecurity. Still, it was always going to be uncomfortable for me to think about Justin and Jade, given all of my memories of them together.

“I just need to talk to you, Justin. Steve told me you were with Amelia now, and I just…to be honest, I’m shocked. And then the song you sang…”

“I’m sorry, Jade. I should’ve been the one to tell you the news. I didn’t want to hurt you any more than I already had.”

“So, apparently…you did want children. Just not mine?”

“I didn’t expect to fall in love with that baby girl.”

“But you did see falling in love with her mother coming a mile away. When we lived together, you made it seem like you hated her. It wasn’t hate at all, was it? I should have known. No one acts like that toward someone unless they care too much.”

“There was no way you could have known, because I kept it inside. It was complicated then. During those early days, I fought my feelings for her. I really did. I wanted things to work between you and me. I didn’t think I’d end up with Amelia. But yes, the animosity toward her was a result of other deep-rooted feelings I couldn’t control. It was very complicated.”

There was a bit of awkward silence before I heard her ask, “Were you with her at any point when we were together?”

“No. Nothing happened until after we broke up. I didn’t want to hurt you, but apparently, I managed to anyway. For that, I’m so sorry. You’re a beautiful person, inside and out. I will always look back happily at our time together. I hope you find someone who deserves you.”

When I heard Jade start to cry, it made me uncomfortable, so I decided to leave and give them privacy to finish their conversation. My heart really did break for her, and I suppose the last person she wanted to see standing there when she left his dressing room was me.

Returning to the lobby, I texted him to let us know when we should come backstage. They were kindly holding Bea’s stroller for me behind the ticket counter, so I retrieved it while we were waiting. From my corner spot, I saw Jade running across the lobby and out of the revolving doors.

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