Teardrops On My Guitar
Songwriters: Rose, Liz; Swift, Taylor Alison

Character Copyright: L. M. Montgomery

Drew looks at me –
I fake a smile so he won't see
what I want and I need
and everything that we should be.


Lillian Morrow came running down the train station, waving away steam and dodging people, as soon as she caught sight of her best friend's lanky figure through the crowd. She wanted to be the first to greet him, before Irene, if that was possible.

As soon as she reached the tall man in khaki, however, she stopped short. It didn't seem right to hug him, somehow, as she would have done four years earlier. He was so different – bone-thin, unshaven, hollow-eyed, looking as if he had seen horrors. His D.S. medal was pinned to the front of his uniform.

"How – how wonderful to see you," she faltered, shaking his hand. This was a far sight from the reunion she had dreamed of for four years.

I'll bet she's beautiful,
that girl he talks about,
and she's got everything
that I have to live without.

A week later, back in civilian clothes, Drew took Lillian for one of their old-time walks down the beach. They had played there as children, shrieking and splashing through the water like wild dolphins. He was holding her arm, as per their custom, but he miht have been miles away.

"Her name is Robin," he said, tasting the two syllables like a ripe apple. "Robin Kennedy. Lilly, I swear that the moment I saw her on that hotel balcony, I knew what the Trojan War was all about. She had a face that could launch a thousand ships – more, even! A creature from another star."

The war-haunted look in his eyes was gone, replaced by a radiant glow. Robin Kennedy had done that without even meaning to, when his best friend couldn't.

Drew talks to me –
I laugh 'cause it's just so funny.
I can't even see
anyone when he's with me.

"Let me guess," said Lillian. "She's a blonde."

"Well, of course she's blonde!" Drew huffed, only half joking. "It's the only color hair worth looking at!"

Lillian had to laugh in spite of herself, but it was a bitter laugh. The wind from the sea blew a strand of her own lank brown hair across her face; she tucked it behind her ear.

"Sounds like you've got it bad, Andrew Stuart," she commented. "How long d'you think it'll last? A week?"

Drew yanked his arm away from hers. "If you're going to sneer at Miss Kennedy all day, Lillian," he said coldly, "I can do without hearing it."

"No, wait, I'm sorry – " But he was gone, with barely a wave, striding along the red sand with the sun picking up copper glints in his auburn hair.

He says he's so in love,
he's finally got it right -
I wonder if he knows
he's all I think about at night.

"Lillian Morrow," said Drew one day, showing up at her house with a tiny blonde on his arm, "Let me introduce you to my wife, Mrs. Robin Stuart."

He might as well have said 'my diamond mine', so triumphant was his tone.

Lillian discovered, right then and there, that having your heart broken need not impair your good manners one bit. She shook hands with Robin Stuart (who really was lovely; all rose and cream and sweetness) and said all the right things.

"Andrew's told me all about you, dear Miss Morrow," said Robin, smiling. "I understand you're practically his sister."

Lillian could have died on the spot. But instead she pasted on a smile and said, "Oh, yes, indeed. I'm so happy for you both."

He's the reason for the teardrops on my guitar,
the only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star.
He's the song in the car I keep singing,
don't know why I do.

"It's such a pity, darling," said Irene, rubbing Lillian's shoulders with a too-soft, perfumed hand. "You have so much in common … "

Lillian did not want pity, but she gritted her teeth and put up with it. She wanted to say, but didn't, that just because two people are both writers, that does not make them automatic kindred spirits.

Lillian was a writer. She wrote poems and short stories for local magazines; pot-boilers, the neighbors called them. Before Robin, she and Drew had regularly critiqued each other's pieces. Now he was so wrapped up in his little house and his little wife that Lillian went for weeks without seeing him.

Drew walks by me –
can he tell that I can't breathe?
And there he goes, so perfectly,
the kind of flawless I wish I could be.

Once, she saw them while on an errand in Charlottetown. They were walking down the street arm in arm, Robin wearing a dark green coat and a matching beret on her golden curls. Drew was as dashing as ever in his tweed coat, his reddish-brown hair wildly tousled by the wind. They stopped in front of a shop window to admire the knickknacks, and did not see Lillian as she ducked into the milliner's on the opposite side of the street.

She peered at them through the glass door. It was such a beautiful picture – the newlyweds shopping for their home – that it made her want to cry.

She better hold him tight,
give him all her love,
look in those beautiful eyes
and know she's lucky 'cause –

After that – the deluge.

Lillian never quite understood what happened. After baby Jane was born, Drew began to walk around with circles under his eyes and tight lips, as if he wanted to scream but wouldn't. He did not confide in Lillian, perhaps not even in Irene. Robin wilted like a hothouse flower in the cold, and when they went out in public together, they spoke and touched no more than necessary.

Then Robin was gone, taking the baby. The community was outraged. Irene was smug under the guise of pity. Drew became a rough approximation of his old self – whimsical, creative, sarcastic – and he began to speak to Lillian again. But he never mentioned Robin or the baby by so much as a word.

Lillian could have cheerfully watched Robin drown – or so she believed. Casting off Andrew Stuart like so much unwanted luggage! Didn't the spoiled Toronto girl realize how outrageously lucky she was to have him for a husband?

He's the reason for the teardrops on my guitar,
the only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star.
He's the song in the car I keep singing,
don't know why I do.

Ten years passed. People said that Lillian Morrow, who had been so sallow and skinny as a girl, had grown into a handsome woman. Drew didn't seem to notice, and neither did Lillian herself.

One night when she came to have dinner with him and Irene, there was a young girl at the table. She had Drew's chin, his auburn hair, his hazel eyes. Lillian had been warned by Irene, but the reality of Drew and Robin's daughter was still breathtaking.

You could have been my child … if only …

"My name is Jane Stuart," she said, every inch a lady from Toronto. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Miss Morrow."

Lillian put on her widest smile and immediately regretted it, feeling younger than jane herself under the scrutiny of those sharp eyes. "Your father and I have always been great friends," she said. "So I hope we can be friends too."

Jane Stuart gave her a look that said, without the least hint of rudeness: When hell freezes over.

So I drive home alone.
As I turn out the light,
I'll put his picture down
and maybe get some sleep tonight.

Lillian could feel the traces of Drew's goodbye handshake all the way home from the train station. She could see how much he loved his daughter – was it for herself alone, or for the memory of Robin?

Lillian's car rumbled through the night, headlights flashing across the bumpy red road in front of her. She looked at her two hands on the wheel, so carefully manicured, so carelessly touched.

As she arrived at the boarding house she had rented with the proceeds of her pot-boiling, a photograph of Drew caught her eye. He was smiling impishly, his hair slicked back, a Drew twenty years younger who had never gone to war or been married or had a child. Her Drew.

She placed the picture face-down and switched off the light.

'Cause he's the reason for the teardrops on my guitar,
the only thing that keeps me wishing on a wishing star.
He's the song in the car I keep singing,
don't know why I do.

Irene's news was somehow not as surprising as it should have been. Lillian listened with all her considerable supply of patience as Irene paced, almost spitting nails.

"I can not believe it," she repeated. "How could he, Lilly? How could he even think of taking her back, after all the heartbreak she's put him through? I always knew he was selfish and thoughtless – heaven knows, he's my little brother! – but this!"

Lillian stood up, smoothed her dress and looked Irene squarely in the eye. Even the mekest and mildest of worms had to turn sometime.

"Irene Stuart Fraser, hold your tongue," she said. "You may say what you like about Mrs. Stuart, but I will not listen to your sniping at Drew. He made his own choice, in case you've forgotten. He doesn't need you to run his life for him, no more than he needs me."

Before she swept out of the room, Lillian had one last parting shot. "I'm going to Montreal," she said. "I've been offered a position of writing for the Montreal Gazette. With any luck, this is the last time we'll see each other again.

He's the time taken up, but there's never enough
and he's all that I need to fall into …
Drew looks at me –
I fake a smile so he won't see.

The Stuart family came to see her off: Drew, Robin and Jane, walking together as naturally as if they'd never been apart.

"Break a leg, Lilly," said Drew, shaking hands. "Or should I say a finger?"

"I wish you all the best, Miss Morrow," said Robin

She laughed, thanked them, and hoisted her trunk up the steps. She found a compartment right next to them, pulled down the window, and waved at them one last time.

Among the steam of the train about to depart, they made a lovely picture: Drew and Robin standing arm in arm, with Jane holding Robin's other hand. Lillian smiled at them without bitterness as she closed the window and sat down.

Goodbye, Andrew Stuart.