It was the best gig he ever performed.
They'd broken up a few months earlier, stayed vaguely in touch, one eye on getting back together, well, one eye each. He'd written a song for her, the song claimed that all he wanted was to truly sing the song, truly love the girl. She was the girl.
They met at a cafe, spoke a few words, spoke mostly in silence, walked a way down the road to a park, to sit on the edge of a fountain. He wasn't nervous, she had never judged him, even when he deserved to be judged.
He opened with Billy Bragg's The Price I Pay For Loving You The Way That I Do. It was a cheap shot at a captive audience. Then he played her the song written for her, the first he'd ever written.
It was the most real performance of his life, before or since. It was simply real. He was singing the song for the girl to the girl. It doesn't get more real.
Every misunderstanding, angry word, ill feeling melted, then dissolved. With one song they knew each other again, could see a way back.
Today he sits opposite the cafe where they met that day. He recalls the best gig he ever performed, wonders if he can perform an encore, for a different girl? Can he make it real again?