This is part of our series called “Inspired by Sound,” where writers use a song as the muse for their story. This piece by Elly Rivera takes influence from “Liability” by Lorde.
Hours after I said goodbye and we've gone our separate ways, when it’s just my thoughts and me, the Doubt I tried to ignore takes a seat on my living room couch. It invites me to sit down, patting the open space next to it. I decline, so it follows me all the way into my bedroom, stifling any space between us.
I wish you were here; it’s when we’re apart that I let Doubt slip in and take your place. You look nothing alike, but sometimes you act, and make me feel, the same way. Doubt’s mischievous grin can’t compete with your alluring smile, and its eyes look dark and empty - not even the sun can make them shine.
It’s under the covers where I block out everyone I love, or possibly love, or never loved, to rewind my brain and clean out today’s remains, filtering them out one by one. As I do this daily ritual, the world continues to breathe and smile without me.
I shuffle through each scene as if I was browsing through stacks of vinyls and CDs. I start thinking about whether I said the right things, laughed at the right times, looked alright at the right times. On days like these, I pull the sheets a little tighter and admit defeat. I let Doubt cuddle up beside me. I might as well have some company – it’s going to be a long night.
How many loves have I screwed up? I wish I could say I lost track, but I haven’t. I count that number like I count the buttons on my shirt, the petals on a daisy, the minutes left until I have to hang up the phone. Everything is welcome under these covers; there is no fear too frightful, nor thought too heartbreaking for this space.
But even darkness doesn’t last forever. The light that I shield myself from rips the sheets away from my grasp. Doubt flinches, stretches and walks right out. It’ll be back later, I’m sure of it, and it’ll be around the same time, just a few hours after I’ve said goodbye to you.