Radio Station 97.1

Driving home from work always leaves me to wonder.  I always find myself looking up at the sky while I wait in rush hour traffic.  Will I be able to retire before 65?  Will I be able to finally commit to marrying my long term girlfriend, Cassie?  Will I ever be able to let go of my grief for my deceased parents?  Will I live a long life?  Will I live a better life than my parents lived?  I find myself diving into these deep topics and whenever I feel I need to break away from those worries, I always listen to 97.1, my favorite radio station.  They always play the best modern music.  They look for underground artists that nobody’s heard of and show their best samples when everything on the Top 40 has been exhausted through.  But now and again, they’ll play a song that I haven’t heard in quite awhile and will play it on the air.  It’s fun to let music cut through the mud that is my ordinary life.  I find it better to save myself the trouble of worrying about that simple stuff and to absolve myself from my everyday life with music.  I felt it kept me sane sometimes.  But for the first time today, listening to the radio no longer helped keep me sane.

I nearly lost my mind when I heard that sick man, no, that sick monster interrupt my station and show me the fruits of his sick works.  I didn’t find it odd at first, I was listening to the song “Me & U” by the artist Cassie.  It wasn’t my favorite song by any means, but it was an urban classic and helped to keep my thoughts distracted.  I kept humming through the lyrics, not paying attention to them, that was until I heard the final line of the song.  “It’s me and you” seem like four insignificant words to any other person, but they struck a chord with me.  Those words rang so clear in my mind that I nearly fainted when I heard it.  I find myself worrying a lot, but nothing terrified me more than the last time Cassie was sick.  She wasn’t the healthiest woman, and I sometimes would take days off from work to help take care of her, but the last time she got sick and fell ill with pneumonia, I panicked.  For the first time in my life, I felt that I would lose the one person in my life I loved the most.  I was by her side the entire time she was in the hospital and told her many times that I loved her and didn’t ever want to leave her.  She told me “I love you too John.  I don’t want to be with anyone else but you.  It’s just me and you, till the day we die.”  Those words stuck with me that day and when I heard those words again over the radio, something immediately sent a chill down my spine.  I didn’t have to hear anything else to know that something was wrong.

The song cut out and I could hear a voice.  It was Cassie’s, and from the heaving breaths and fear in her voice, I knew she was in trouble.  I turned the radio up so I didn’t miss anything.  I heard a coarse voice in the background ordering Cassie.  “Say it now!  Say it!”  

“It’s just me and you, John, till the day we die.  Oh God, someone please save me!  He’s gonna kill me someone please-“ Before she could finish her plea, the man who was holding her captive slapped her.  The loud slam his hand made when it hit her face made my entire body freeze.  Whoever had Cassie, my Cassie, knew the words we said to each other when we thought she would die of pneumonia, and he knew to interrupt the radio station at the right time to say it.  I often feel like everything is against me and sometimes obsess over the little things in my life, but this was a moment where I truly felt powerless and felt that everything was working against me.  The only thing I truly cared about in my life besides music was taken from me.  I heard her cry out for help one more time before the signal stopped.  The radio went dead for a solid minute, just pure silence.  I couldn’t believe what had just happened.  Cassie was kidnapped, trapped, abused, and was about to die.  Whoever was responsible for this knew exactly how to tear me apart, how to make my life a living hell, and how to make my life not worth living.  This monster had won, he had taken everything from me and left me an empty shell.  

I sat there in my car as traffic continued on slowly in rush hour as it always did, focusing only on my breath and doing my best not to faint.  I tried telling myself it was a dream, that it was all just a figment of my imagination, that I was too worried about my plans to propose to Cassie.  But to add icing to the cake, the killer left one last reminder for me that shattered any hope of my beloved Cassie being alive.  The radio station came back on after a minute had passed and began to play the song “Exit Music (for a film)” by Radiohead.  The only reason I remembered this song was because it was the song that was played to honor my father when he died.  My entire family was gone now, and the monster who took the last of my family wanted me to know that.  He wanted me to know that everything I loved had come to an end and that there was nothing more for me to live for.  

It’s been a week since that day and the police still haven’t found Cassie’s body, nor have they found any suspects who they believe might be the killer.  I’ve all but given up on ever seeing my girlfriend ever again.  There’s nothing much else that drives me anymore.  I no longer even enjoy the ride home in my car listening to 97.1 on the radio.  All I ever hear when I turn it on now is static.  Not even in the solace of my own mind can I find comfort.  Everything in my world is numb, and I don’t want that to change.  I don’t want to ever forget the good times I had with Cassie in spite of the pain.  Even now, as 97.1 is still just dead static, I listen on anyhow.  To me, it’s the only thing that will ever be able to fill the void of what I’ve lost, and it will be long before I forgive or forget.


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