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Flash Forward: July 2063

Jane sat at the kitchen table, endlessly stirring the cup of tea someone had made for her. She felt a hand come to rest on her shoulder.

“How are you holding up?”

“I’m fine, sweetie,” she replied. She glanced up to see a look of concern on Adele’s face and patted her hand to reassure her. “I’m just listening to the music.”

The music had been playing all afternoon. Someone had gone through the archives and put together a playlist of his life’s work – all the songs Adam ever wrote, all the different artists whose careers he had launched. Every so often, one of the old Maroon 5 songs came on and Jane would hear the voice she remembered so well, surrounding her again.

Adele was shaking her gently. “Did you hear me?”

Jane shook her head. “What did you say?”

“I asked if you saw the write up in the Times?”

Adele was showing her a newspaper, but Jane was too tired to make her eyes focus on the tiny print. “Read it out loud to me,” she said, handing the paper back.

“Adam Levine died at home on July 15th at the age of 84. He is survived by his beloved wife Jane, daughters Adele and Avril, and five grandchildren. He first came to prominence in 2002 as the lead singer for the pop musical group Maroon 5. The band dissolved in 2014….”

Jane’s attention drifted away from the words of the obituary as a new song began to play and Adam’s voice filled the room. It was one of his songs from the fourth album. The Man Who Never Lied.

A child had plopped himself into her lap and was asking her something. Jane forced her attention away from the song and looked down at the little face. He was only six years old, but already she could see the dimples she knew so well – the perfect bone structure starting to make itself known beneath the layer of baby fat. This one was going to be a sight to behold in a few years.

“Tell me a secret,” the little boy demanded.

“What kind of secret?” Jane asked, smiling at the mischievous glint in his eye.

“Tell me what grandpa wrote this song about.”

Jane closed her eyes for a moment and watched as the memories danced inside her head. Her mind was still a little foggy. She’d been crying at the funeral this morning, and someone had slipped her a pill to take the edge off. Now she felt the images of the past washing over her – her own recollections mingling together with all the stories Adam had told her. She struggled to untangle them. She saw a scene play out behind her closed eyes, like a bad late-night movie she knew she shouldn’t watch but couldn't quite find the strength to look away. She recognized the main players. A man and a woman. Adam and his beloved Jane, lying in each other’s arms, fighting sleep, fighting the dawn.

“Are you scared?” the woman whispered, searching his face with her eyes.

“I’m happy,” he said, but his smile was forced.

“Tell me,” she said. “Tell me the truth.”

He looked away for a moment before returning his eyes to hers. “You have to promise me, Jane. Promise me you’ll never leave again.”

She put her hands on either side of his face and looked intently into his eyes. “You asked me to marry you, and I said yes,” she told him. “I wouldn’t have said it unless I was sure.”

“Promise me.”

“I promise.”

“You’re sure?”

“I’m sure,” she whispered. “I know.”

He nodded, satisfied.

“Are you sure, Adam?”

“Of course,” he said. “I wouldn’t have asked you if I wasn’t sure.”

It was the woman’s turn to look away now.

“What?” he whispered. “You tell me the truth too, Jane.”

“Are you sure I'm not too old?” she asked.

He chuckled. “We’re the same age.”

“You’re a man, though. You’ll be one of those George Clooney types that the girls are still drooling over when he’s old.” She smiled at him. “I’ll just be old.”

He kissed her. “You’ll still be Jane,” he said.

“And those 22 year olds will still be chasing you. What happens to me when you fall for one of them?”

“It’s never going to happen,” he said.

“How do you know?”

He held her gaze with look of absolute certainty. “I know,” he whispered, “because I am utterly incapable of loving anyone else.”

Jane sat now with the little boy in her lap and watched Adam and his leading lady acting out their scene inside her head. Every movie needed a soundtrack, of course, and no song could be more fitting than the one that played now in the background.


I was the man who never lied.

Never lied until today,

But I just couldn’t break your heart

Like you did mine yesterday.

Liars, Jane thought. Liars, both of you. And what a price there was to pay.

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