He sits alone, crying in his bedroom after hearing the news. He blames himself, he wishes he could switch places, and he could’ve died instead.
But it is done
The gray haired man has passed
He goes to school the next day, people talk about him, making fun of him, he’s barely 13. He tries to act tough but people imitate his singing, making fun of his desperate attempts to hit notes and master runs, hoping to be the next Alexander Stewart, Lewis Capaldi, or Bruno Mars.
Four days later, the funeral, valentine’s day, a day supposed to be full of love turned to a day full of sadness.
They Take her kids, 2 brothers, into the unknown. They split them, the oldest tries to contain his feelings and tries to see a bright future with music and getting out of that wretched place, he gets beaten but fights back, he talks to the mom constantly, longing to see her, just give her a hug. He prays to god every night that this nightmare will be over, yearning for the day he can go home. He talks to the gray-haired man, asking, “ dad, are you proud of me”, he wishes the gray haired man were still here to tell him that it’s gonna be alright, that he’ll always be there, the old lion will always be there. The oldest writes constantly, songs about going home, sorrow, heartbreak, letters to his mom, wishing he could feel her warmth, even if only for a second.
Months pass, the oldest starts to give up hope, he gets a visit, the mom, they spend the time hugging, laughing, bonding. He gets to go home with her, just a week, then 2, then they release him, he feels free, free from a prison they call a facility, free from his mental longing.
He listens, going into the place he loathed, finding people like Buck Owens, Conway Twitty, Ray Price. He’d heard stories about his dad’s time with some of them, his time in bakersfield, his happiness. He starts to listen, forming a liking to the echoes of steel guitar, wailing of the fiddle, and crooning.
He starts to write, it's like a fever, writing song after song, verse after verse, finding his rhythm, his lyrics. He finds new inspiration in people like Dwight Yoakam, Conway Twitty, George Jones. He feels the runs, the notes, the music. He matures, finds his voice, no longer the same kid as that 13 yr old, he’s strong; physically, emotionally, mentally, musically. He doesn’t get laughed at, or made fun of. No longer are those desperate failed attempts, no longer is he mad at the gray haired man. He finally writes what’ll be a hit, he’s ready to release it, release it to the world, make the gray haired man proud, make his mom proud. Prove that after everyone made fun of him, talked behind his back, imitated him. That He, the one they called a failure, is a success, that he rose from the ashes in triumph.