She stumbled home. She unlocked the door of her apartment, flipping the light switch.
She flipped it again. And again.
"W-Whats today?" She whispered breathlessly, looking at her phone.
The first. Damn it.
She sighed, sliding to the floor. "Shit!"
She didn't get paid again for another two weeks. She didn't have enough. Damn it!
A light flickered in the hallway.
"Ophelia," he said gently, holding a candle. She smiled at him.
"Eric," she said with a sigh.
He smiled. "I know the lights are out but...well I thought we could have a candle lit dinner instead. It'll be romantic."
For some reason that made her angry. "Eric, you need to get a job."
He frowned slightly, his beauty reflected in the candlelight.
"Eric. It's cold outside. The heat is next. And they won't let us live here without paying the utilities. I can't do this on my own—"
"I know. And soon, we'll have a place of our very own—"
"How soon?" She asked impatiently. "Because my bones ache, and I haven't slept or eaten in days. So I need a date, Eric."
"Eric! There's no food. We don't have lights. We don't have anything. And all to I want to tell me is soon! Soon won't put food in my belly!"
He took her hand. "I know it's hard. But I'll make up to you. When we're rich."
She closed her eyes. "I...I can't do this anymore, Eric. I can't work myself to the bone for your dream. What about my dream? Spoiler alert! There's lights, and heat."
He sighed, the flame flickering from his breath.
"I'll make you happy. We'll be happy, if you could just hold on—"
"I can't hold on, Eric. I have nothing to hold on to. I can't hold on to smoke and dreams." She begged. "If you would just...at the very least help me. Get a job. A real one. Please."
"Ophelia, you know I need the time to write. A job would suck me of my inspiration. I don't want to grow old. We promised not to you."
"That's just another promise we couldn't keep. You're getting to stay a boy, Eric at the expense of me growing older than I should be. I...I love you. But I can't do this anymore."
He looked down. "Ophelia. What are you saying? Are you saying, you're leaving me? Because I'm not rich—"
"Because you won't try!" She screamed, a tear falling from her eye. "I keep breaking myself to hold up your dream. I don't have anything left."
Her hand fell from his with a finality that needed no words.
"Ophelia..." he said anyway.
She turned around, her eyes blurred with tears, as she slid his ring off her finger.
A 25 cent ring. She smiled at it, putting it his hands tenderly.
"I hope you make it, Eric. I think you will one day. I hope the world can hear your beautiful voice. But...I can't be there."
"No..." he said softly.
"Good luck, Eric," She smiled, opening the door.
She paused, hand on the knob. Maybe she—
Then she heard it. His heart wrenching song, that beautiful voice singing her name in pain.
She smiled. Maybe the pain would help him. She could still be his muse.
Just from a far.
She cried, leaving the apartment. She didn't have anything now.
Shit. Shit! She cried, sitting in the sidewalk. Then like a ray of hope, that gold lettering hit a ray of moonlight.
And even though it went against her better judgement. She pulled out her phone.
It would be cut off tomorrow and it wasn't like she had anyone else to call.
She could beg to her parents. She wouldn't.
So instead she dialed that number written in gold.
There was no name, just that number.
She cleared her throat as the she heard the receiver.
"H-hello?" She said.
"Is that a tired Songbird I hear?" His voice echoed through the line making her shiver.
This wasn't a good idea.
"I'm not doing anything weird. Do you have a job you could recommend me."
"Weird?" He smiled over the line, staring at a particular spot on his wall. "I wouldn't dream of it, Little Songbird. Where are you? I'll pick you up."