You can't be replaced
Rosalina was sitting with Nat on her roof. She was supposed to leave for her tour in four hours but she suddenly didn't want to go. Tears filled her soft brown eyes and she leaned against him for support. Nat hugged her and said "hey you can't go all around the world with so much sadness in your heart. Tell me what's wrong maybe I can help you."
Rosalina said "if I leave you'll just replace me within three weeks. I'm not unforgettable you'll find a girl who is more loyal to the band! I'm not deaf blind or stupid Nat I heard you and Alex talking last night. Your exact words were I'm not defending her. I could find a replacement in less then three weeks. She's so easy to forget I don't even care that she's leaving me for six months."
Nat took his arm from around Rosalina and stood up. Then he said "so I can't help you because the things I said are part of the problem? I love you Rosalina it's just- I was upset last night and Alex just got his heart broken. I was trying to show him the wrong way to handle things. I guess the door wasn't closed enough for that kind of lesson. Now that you understand can you forgive me?"
Rosalina sobbed "no Nat I can't because you didn't say the four words I needed to hear from you. I needed to hear you say you can't be replaced. Since you didn't say that I guess this is our last night together. I love you but you don't care because you've probably got millions of chicks just waiting to be called your girl!"
Nat was speechless even after all the time he and Rosalina had spent together she still thought she could be replaced by any girl. He watched her walk into the house with a heavy heart. Once again they were in a silent fight he hated those because then his heart felt empty. Not even music could cheer him up if they were fighting. Not even music could make him feel the way he did when they were together.
Later that day Nat was trying to rehearse with the band. It wasn't going well because he was so upset about the fight. He closed his eyes and tried once again to sing he opened up his mouth but no sound came out.
Alex came over and said "Nat what's bothering you? I thought you said goodbye to Rosalina this morning so it wouldn't affect your singing. I know you wrote this song for her but it always makes you happy to play something you wrote for her. What's this one called anyway? I don't think you ever came up with a title because you wanted this one to mean something. Did saying goodbye earlier give you any ideas or are you still waiting?"
Nat said "yeah this morning did give me an idea. It's too late to actually play it for her because the plane would have taken off two hours ago. I'm upset because we got into a fight this morning. She thinks I'll replace her in the band and as my girlfriend."
Alex said "last night you did say you didn't care. I can see how Rosalina could've gotten the wrong idea. What did you want to call the song? If it's I'm sorry I think you've already said that too much."
Nat said "the thing she said she needed to hear from me was you can't be replaced. I was thinking what if we rewrote that song dad wrote for mom. We could make it a lot softer and play it slower. Alex this is important please play the piano not the keyboard. You and I both know what dad will do if we play a song he recorded on piano on keyboard."
Alex said "wait how much do you care about her? The song that dad wrote for mom was a wedding present. We shouldn't play around with that. Do you remember how upset he was when she died? He would play that song when he was putting us to bed and would start crying. He didn't stop playing it until I was eight and you were twelve. He loved mom so much Nat I don't want to make him hurt again."
Nat said "alright we won't use mom's song but we still have to use piano. That's Rosalina's favorite instrument besides the violin. I know it's not our thing but come on please do this for me."
Alex sighed and said "alright but we won't be able to record it in our room. The piano is in dad's room. That means that he has a say in when we record and practice that song."
Meanwhile Rosalina was listening to the music box that Nat gave her. Tears were rolling down her cheeks and she was too hurt to wipe them away. She was angry at herself for saying those things to Nat. She loved him so much that it hurt her to listen to the music box.
When the plane landed in Ireland she tucked the music box in the bottom of her purse. Then she got out her seat grabbed her purse and suitcase and left the plane. When she got to her hotel room she lay on the bed and took out a pen and paper.
Rosalina wrote a letter to Nat. She closed her eyes and wrote "dear Nat I love you so much. I'm just letting know that I got to Ireland ok. I'm sorry that I said those hateful things. I just got the wrong idea when you said you didn't care. Please write back if you're not still angry."
Rosalina walked over to the post office and mailed the letter. She hoped with all her heart that in a few months he'd write back. She missed him and the other members of the band so much that it hurt. She wondered if Nat would replace her in the band the other members were right she had chosen the trip over them. Some how this felt right it was a change of pace and she needed to get her head on straight.
Meanwhile Nat was looking around in the closet trying to find the music for that song before rehearsal. When he found an old tape the label said "Nat's first song you can't be replaced."
Nat took the tape and brought it into Alex's room. Alex sighed and said "I told you to find music and you find a dumb tape. I'll go look for the music practice starts in half an hour."
Nat stared at the tape's case he'd never heard his dad mention this song. He didn't even remember recoding it. Then the rest of the band started to slowly file in. David came in first. Then Jesse, Qaasim, and Tomas Alex came in last looking stressed out.
Nat showed his brother's the tape and said "I have no clue what this is. The label says it's the first song I ever recorded. I can't believe that dad never showed me I need to hear it so I can hear how I've progressed as an artist."
Alex said "dad probably had a good reason for keeping it hidden. Maybe you didn't sing well or something. I don't think you should mess with it until we talk to dad. I couldn't find the music to the song you wrote for Rosalina. I checked the whole closet and tore our room apart."
Nat said "don't worry about it Alex. I was thinking about using this song because it says exactly what she wants to hear. The date on the label is the day that mom died I think I wrote this for her. Maybe that's why dad didn't show it to me. Maybe he didn't want me to be that upset ever again."
Alex said "I don't remember what mom looked like. Nat probably does though because he spent the most time with her before she got sick."
Nat said "I don't remember much about her either. All I remember is her love for me and music. Right before she got sick she bought me my first keyboard and taught me a few notes. By the time you were born Alex I knew that mom wasn't herself. Dad took care of both of us. Alex when you were born she could barely hold you both. The next night she passed away. I wish I could tell you more but I can't I don't even remember her funeral or giving her a hug the last time she would ever put us to bed. I wish dad would talk about her more but it makes him too sad."
Alex said "you miss her don't you Nat. It hurts you that dad hid that tape from you for all these years. You've been filling the hole that mom left in your heart with Rosalina and now that Rosalina isn't here you're forced to feel that pain all over again."
Nat stood up and said "I don't feel up to rehearsing today. I'm going to try calling Rosalina and see if she'll talk to me. Just shut up and leave me alone! I said I'd never replace mom but I filled the hole she left in my heart with love for Rosalina!"
Nat stood up and ran into his room. Alex had been right about having to tear the room apart to try and find the music. The room looked like a giant hurricane had gone through their closet. On the floor Nat found a picture of him, his dad, and a woman he didn't recognize. Nat picked up the photo and turned it over. On the back the photo said "Nat, John, and Amy Wolf ice skating 1995."
Tears filled Nat's eyes and he struggled to hold them back. He felt bad for yelling at Alex because it wasn't his fault that he missed his mom. He picked up the phone and called Rosalina. Rosalina answered on the third ring. Nat spoke softly not wanting her to hear that he was trying not to cry. Sadly she wasn't fooled she said "Nat what's wrong are you that upset about our fight? Those silly words I said don't mean anything. I love you but I was just upset."
Nat took a deep breath and said "I'm fine - I just - needed to be away from the band right now. I love you to Rosalina and I miss you so much. I can't wait until this trip of yours is over. I need to hold you in my arms again because there isn't another girl like you in the world. Trying to replace you would be like trying to replace my mom."
Rosalina realized what the problem was. She said "Nat it's alright if you miss your mom. She's the one who taught you how to play keyboard. If it wasn't for her you never would have started the band and we never would have met. Your mom was the most wonderful woman in the Nat. What made you think about her now though because your family never talks about her? I thought your dad didn't want you to remember her because it hurt too much."
Nat couldn't hold his tears back any longer but he didn't Rosalina to hear him cry. He swallowed and said "Rosalina the guys are fighting again about that new song I wrote for you. Jesse doesn't like the violin he thinks it's not our image so I better go. I love you have a good night sleep Rosalina."
Nat lied down on the bed and put his pillow over his head so no one would hear him crying. He leaned over and pulled a small teddy bear out Alex's pillow case and held it close. His mother had given that bear to Nat and Nat gave it to Alex to help him remember her.
A little while later Nat's father came into the room. He placed his hand on Nat's back and said "Alex told me you found that tape. I was going to show you but I just didn't have the heart. I never meant to hurt you Nat please try to understand that you wrote that when you were hurt so I was protecting you."
Nat lifted his tear stained face from the mattress to look at his father. He sniffed and said "I'm the only one who hasn't forgotten her dad. Why won't you talk about her or show us pictures of us together as a family. I feel like I replaced her with Rosalina that song said that she couldn't be replaced. I lied to my mom dad she might be dead but I stilled lied to her."
His father said "Nat calm down just because you love Rosalina doesn't mean you love your mom any less. I still love your mom and I love both of you boys with all my heart. You understand what I'm saying son or do I need to go further?"
Nat said "I understand you perfectly dad. You're that just because I love Rosalina doesn't mean I love mom any less. Thank you but don't ever tell Alex I slept with Mr. Rock bear. He thinks it's his only tie to mom. Ever since I gave it to him he's become very protective of it."
Nat's dad said "I won't tell Alex that you cried or slept with the bear. I give a father's code of honor on that. Speaking of Rosalina Alex said you two got in a fight. Is there anything you want to tell me?"
Nat said "dad I already spilled my guts about mom. I talked to Rosalina and everything is ok. I just had to tell her that she couldn't be replaced. That was the easiest thing she's ever wanted me to say after we got into a fight."
Nat's father said "Alex doesn't seem to get it that sometimes all women want to know is that they're special to you and can't be replaced. Goodnight son and get some sleep. Tomorrow just you and I will listen to that tape. Before I leave the room though let me just put Mr. Rocky back in the pillow case. There now Alex won't even know you had him out."