Written: May 29, 2022

Word count: 1030

I couldn't paint to music and would never try to again. The delivery man's laugh after he scared me still resounds in my head.

My wrap around front porch was ideal for painting, and on those cool spring days, you'd find me outside. The house itself held a cheery grandma kind of charm, though the correct term would be colonial.

“You should always face the street,” my dad said after I told him.

“Then it won't happen again.”

Families liked to go for walks in the spring, the Georgia heat not yet forcing them inside. They often said hello to me, which I didn't mind at first, but after a while you start to feel like you're on display. Springtime in Savanah also meant swarms of tourists snapping pictures of everything and everyone. Not ideal when you haven't slept a wink and look like you've gone through a dishwasher.

Then again if I was facing the street, I would've noticed Izzy before almost the exact same thing happened.

Legend has it I survive off of stars and magic. Sorry Dad, eggs are better. And strong coffee. A little past ten am on Saturday I set down my brush to grab a bite of eggs—enough to appease my stomach for a while. In the next second, a voice in the softest tone words could be spoken said:

“Hi, new neighbor alert.”

The eggs went flying. But not before I screamed bloody murder.

“Oh shit, I'm so sorry!”

Though not as tall as myself, she wasn't short either. She slid her sunglasses up to survey the mess.

“I'll help you clean this up. Or maybe you just want to push me back down the steps?” Sunglasses in her pocket, she turned to meet my eye, an easy, disarming smile on her face.

“I'm Izzy by the way.”

Why did she look and sound so familiar?

“June,” I said, reaching out a hand to shake hers.

“I'm an artist, not an athlete. But I happen to like earthy flavors, so don't worry about it.”

Her laugh froze me in place. I'd definitely heard it before! But how could that be? I took a closer look at her. Short red hair fell in wavy layers around her face which she tucked back with both hands. I didn't know any redheads.

“Holy hell, you painted that?” She gestured to my painting.

“What? Oh, yeah I did.”

Dimples in both cheeks when she smiled. I smiled back. Her teeth looked familiar too. Subtly toned in the arms, and a small butterfly tattoo on her left hand—so subtle I couldn't make it out until she came closer. A few beauty marks dotted her neck. Absolutely no one I knew. We all sat around bitching about the price of art materials over pizza. And if any of us did have beauty marks, we would've turned them into constellations for the hell of it.

“Do you paint?”

She responded with a laugh.

“People would pay me to stop if I ever did. I used to act though, a long time ago. The show only ran for a year before it was scrapped.”

Wait a minute. Wait a minute! Could it really be...?

She stepped closer to the painting, giving me a better view of her features. Ten seconds later it hit me, and my eyes widened in disbelief.

One Bridge to the Other, the show I watched after Celia dumped me. I never admitted it to anyone, but I fell in love with Isabell right along with the main character. Once the show ended she disappeared with it and I forgot all about her.

She complimented the painting again. The softness of her words, hearing a voice I hadn't for twelve years set me at ease; like she were an old friend. I tried to hide a face hotter than molten lava but Izzy saw it and chuckled, giving my forearm a gentle squeeze.


But wait, maybe it wasn't her at all. I asked the show's name and steeled myself.

“One Bridge to the Other. Have you ever seen it?”

Oh god. What do I do now?

“No, I don't think so.”

What?! Why did you say that?!

“I loved working on that show. Being an actress, not so much. I moved from New York and taught at a school for kids with disabilities. Sadly it's getting ready to close. There's a new school that just opened up here and I start Monday.”

“Oh, that's great.” The knowledge of this squashed any panic that may've colored my tone. I asked about her previous job.

“I taught there for almost the last twelve years. Even before the show ended I knew what I wanted to do next. I saw them all graduate. Some went on to mainstream schools, some not but every single one was fantastic and I love them so much. One of the episodes of the show needed me to learn a little bit of piano, and I played that clip for them during silent reading. Most of them love music. One little girl was the next Jimi Hendrix, I swear. Her parents are musicians too.”

The piano scene! How could I have forgotten something I watched a million times? I thought she should've quit acting on the spot and planted herself at Carnegie Hall.

“It's always awesome to see kid musicians, gives me so much more hope for humanity. I've illustrated a few children's books and tagged along to the signings. I love how they light up at the art. Makes all the grueling work worthwhile.”

“Have you ever taught art to kids?”

“No, but I might someday. I'm not uh, very well-known or anything, and art is something I do on the side. I don't think I could handle any sort of fame. I got so nervous at the signings I kept my sunglasses on. The kids thought I was the author's mom, so it worked out.”

Izzy laughed, the sound genuine and warm.

“Well, that feeling is definitely something we have in common.”