If You’re Gone

By Enola Jones

Song Used: If You're Gone by Matchbox Twenty

Chris had raged at the world for years. He had tried to drink himself into oblivion, tried to slowly kill himself. Anger was his main way of looking at the world, of shielding himself from the hurt and pain of losing his family.

In all that time, he had never cried for them. Even in private, he would dash the tears away and tell himself Sarah wouldn't want him to be weak.

Even becoming part of a successful house band didn't help him. He still raged, only now he kept it mostly confined to himself. He still went on benders, but now he kept it in private.

And he still didn't cry.

Chris arrived early at Four Corners and began to play alone. He needed time today by himself. It was two weeks after the fourth anniversary of that nightmarish car crash and the pain was as raw and festering as ever. He sat alone centre stage and played an improvised melody of agony.

When the guitar fell silent, the sound of one pair of hands applauding erupted. Chris looked up, fury on his face at the person who dared interrupt his private moment.

Buck walked up to the stage, a manila envelope under his arm. "Nice playin', Stud. Gonna work that into the act?"

"What the hell are you doin' here?"

"Nice t'see you too." He smiled and held up the envelope. "Found somethin' goin' through a box in the closet yesterday. Thought you'd like to see it."

"And why'd I do that?"

"Cause it's one o'Sarah's poems."

Chris blinked and came down off the stage. He took the envelope and opened it, sitting down and blinking as the familiar handwriting was revealed. He touched the paper reverently and smiled slightly. "'I think I've already lost you...I think you're already gone....' She wrote this when we had a fight shortly before we were married...."

"I remember," Buck smiled. "I thought you'd like to see it. Have it."

Chris looked up. "Seriously?"

Buck nodded. "It's yours by rights, after all. Don't even remember why she gave it to me...."

"Cause I was always losin' her stuff," Chris chuckled tightly.

"Buy you a drink?"

He frowned. "Inez hasn't arrived yet."

"Bar down the street's open. Come on. Let's drink to them."

Chris nodded and they walked out together, leaving the envelope on the table. Both knew they'd return for it later.

JD walked into the nightclub, grumbling at his motorcycle's unpredictability. He blinked and picked up the paper. "Wow....." With that one word, he ran to the copier in the office.


Chris and Buck returned four hours later to find the other five up onstage, Vin's voice singing a drawn-out "You" while Ezra and Nathan's horns faded out in the background.

Buck smiled at them. "What's goin' on?"

JD laughed. "We found the words to that new song we were playin' around with! Wanna hear?"

"Sure," Chris and Buck chuckled as they realised they'd said that together.

Josiah piped in, "I'm doing the bass part on the keys since you weren't here, is that okay?"

Buck waved a hand. "More than okay, let's hear this masterpiece!"

They began to play, the song slow and melodic, the trombone and saxophone giving it a romantic, surreal feel. Vin stepped up to the centre microphone and, eyes on the fretboard, began to sing.

"I think I've already lost you
I think you're already gone
I think I'm finally scared now ---"

"You son of a bitch!"Chris erupted, flinging himself onstage, his hands going for Vin's throat. "How dare you? How dare you sing that!"

Josiah and Buck both pulled the enraged man away from Vin, who backpedaled into the cradle of Nathan and Ezra's arms, thanking his lucky stars the two big men had reached him before those wildly grasping claws had made contact. JD just stood there, his mouth open. "What the hell..." the Texan gasped, his face white with shocked surprise.

"What give you the right to sing that poem?!?!" Chris roared.

"Calm down, Stud, he didn't know," Buck said, holding him down as he attempted to lunge for Vin again.

"Bullshit!" Chris roared. "Her initials were there on the paper!"

Buck took his chin and forced his eyes to meet Buck's. "Slick don't know her initials, Chris."

JD suddenly licked his lips. "That poem? The one on the table?"

Buck looked up. "Yeah....you know somethin' about it?"

"I -- I copied it.... we set it to music...I didn't know, Chris, please believe me! I didn't know!"

Buck sighed in frustration. He met Josiah's eyes --- and smiled. "Let him go, Josiah."

"What?" roared from the five.

"Let him go. I'll handle him. You get back onstage." He turned to the four gathered there. "You play. Play it." He then looked at Chris and shook the black-clad man hard. "And you -- you! Listen!"

Chris pointed at the stage as Josiah moved back. "Buck, they're using her poem as ---"

"I know that, Stud." He hauled Chris into a chair and sat beside him, practically on top of him. "And that's why you gotta listen to it."

"Buck, it's Sarah's words ---"

"And they were written for you." Chris blinked, surprised at the simple truth he'd forgotten in his anger. "Yeah, Chris. For you. Listen to the one song to you --- from Sarah. And I mean listen. Got me?"

He licked his lips, but his eyes still blazed. "Got you."

Buck nodded. "All right, then." He looked back at the stage. "Play it!"

There was a long pause, a long deafening silence, then Josiah hit the very soft bass notes on the keyboards and Vin's guitar came in quietly. The horns joined in a few measures later, and Vin licked his lips and stepped up to the microphone. This time his voice trembled slightly with some unreadable emotion as his eyes looked at Chris's slumped form.

"I think I've already lost you
I think you're already gone
I think I'm finally scared now
You think I'm weak, I think you're wrong...."

Chris's eyes closed as the familiar anger welled. Buck's hand landed firm on his arm and knee, and to his surprise the anger melted away, leaving the untouchable thing behind, the one thing he couldn't touch -- wouldn't touch!

Pain....deep, endless pain....

"I think you're already leaving
Feels like your hand is on the door
I thought this place was an empire
Now I've realised I can't be sure...."

God, Sarah....why? Why'd you have to go? Why did you have to GO?

In Vin's voice, her words poured on, reaching to his very soul now.

"And I think you're so mean
I think we should try....
I think I could need this in my life...."

Sarah, I need you so much.....

"I think I'm scared, I think too much....
I know it's wrong
It's a problem I'm feeling---

"If you're gone
Maybe it's time to come home
There's an awful lot of breathing room
But I can hardly move..."

Can't move...can't go on.....haven't since that damned phone call....

"If you're gone
Baby you need to come home..."

Home died with you, Sarah...

"There's a little bit of something me
And everything you...."

Chris's head rose at that, his eyes wide. That had been something she'd told Chris in that fight that had triggered the poem. He could still hear her words --- "Everything you feel is just a little bit of something I did, and a lot of things you do!"

....Sarah....what are you telling me now?

And the song rolled on.

"I bet you're hard to get over..."

Too damn hard, you were my life....

"I bet the moon just won't shine..."

It's not....

"I bet my hands I can stay here....
And I bet you need more than you mind...."

God, Sarah, yes.....

"And I think you're so mean....
I think we should try....
I think I could need this in my life...."

I need YOU....

"I think I'm scared that I know too much..."

--too much about dying....

"I can't relate and that's a problem I'm feeling...."


"If you're gone
Maybe it's time to come home....
There's an awful lot of breathing room
But I can hardly move...."

Why did you repeat THOSE words, Sarah?

"If you're gone....
Baby you need to come home.....
There's a little bit of something me
And everything you..."

The horns swelled in a solo and Chris had a moment to think. Something inside him began to crumble and for the first time in forever, Chris felt something other than anger and irony.

My God, Sarah.......it's a hug from beyond the grave....

Vin began to sing again, the words that had been repeated on the paper.

"I think you're so mean...
I think we should try....
I think I could need this in my life....
I think I'm scared,
Do I talk too much?"

Chris chuckled at that. You always did use ten words when one would do....

"I know it's wrong and that's a problem I'm feeling
If you're gone
Maybe it's time to come home....
There's an awful lot of breathing room
But I can hardly move..."


"If you're gone
Baby you need to come home....
There's a little bit of something me ....
And everything in you..."

The song slowed even more.

"(Something me).....
Everything in
(Something me)....."

All instruments stopped but the horns and Vin's soft voice, cracking on the last words.

"In you."

Buck leaned over, his cheeks wet. "Come home, Chris," he whispered. "It's more than time."

Chris just sat there, staring at the stage. His fists were clenched and his face was unreadable, but he was trembling from head to toe. His eyes began to blink faster and faster.

"Come home, Chris," a voice whispered on the wind.

"....Sarah...." he whispered. "Oh, God! SARAH!" And then he was out of the chair again -----

Crumpled in a dark heap, his shoulders heaving.

Buck was suddenly by his side and he pulled his oldest friend into a seated embrace, carding his hands through the straight, thick blond hair as he held him tight. Chris's hands closed convulsively around Buck's shirtsleeves as he buried his head in the large man's shoulder and .....


Openly. Unashamedly. Grieving fully at last for the other half of his soul.

The other five, one by one, came down and wordlessly added their presence, their support. They enfolded Chris in a web of love that began to heal his broken soul at long last.

Unnoticed by any of them, the handwritten poem quietly changed.

".....there's an awful lot of breathing room
But I can hardly move.
You were gone
Baby, it's time, you've come home.
There's a little bit of something me
And everything in you.

"I love you, Chris.



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