How Could This Happen to Me?

Barry and I had a computer each in a spare room. We used to sit together and chat while surfing the net. Barry often chatting on MSN to one or more of his many friends, while I visited one of my many websites and/or haunts.

Being a teenager, Barry loved listening to music. Being “old” (and one day he complimented me by saying that I didn’t look it), I prefer peace and quiet. However, even this wasn’t a problem between us, because Barry listened to all types of music. If he wanted to listen to something that he knew I’d complain about, he’s use head phones. Yet he knew that if he listened to older music, I’d be happy to listen to it too. Barry loved music from the 1960’s and played it often. He was born out of his time. Gary often said that, and how true it turned out to be.

One evening, I had been listening to Barry’s music for some time. I turned to him and said that it was his turn to listen to my music. He didn’t look thrilled about that and suggested a “game”. We were each to pick a song and play it, one after the other. I thought this might be amusing and agreed.

I allowed him to go first. He played the exact song I intended to play. The song, “How Could This Happen to Me?” by Simple Plan. We laughed and, yes, we listened to the song twice. He was unaware that I liked the song, and from then on played it more often. He realised that being old didn’t mean I didn’t like modern music…as long as it was a ballad type song…and he started playing other modern hits too.

At the time, it was just a song. But now, it has special meaning and even though I always knew the words, they meant nothing. They were just words. Now…I find myself wondering if the words meant something more to Barry. Was it a sign of his inner turmoil? Is this another sign that I missed?

At work, I have the radio playing softly in the background. I hear this song almost every day. And every time I hear those words, I cry.

Was he screaming out? Why didn’t I hear him?

I open my eyes
I try to see but I’m blinded by the white light.
I can’t remember how
I can’t remember why
I’m lying here tonight
And I can’t STAND the pain
And I can’t make it go away
No I can’t STAND the pain

*CHORUS*
How could this happen to me
I’ve made my mistakes
got nowhere to run
The night goes on as I’m fading away
I’m sick of this life
I just wanna scream
How could this happen to me

Everybody’s screaming
I try to make a sound but no one hears me
I’m slipping off the edge
I’m hanging by a thread
I wanna start this over again
So I try to hold
On to a time when
Nothing mattered
And I can’t explain
What happened and I can’t erase the things that I’ve done
No I can’t

*CHORUS*
How could this happen to me
I’ve made my mistakes
got nowhere to run
The night goes on as I’m fading away
I’m sick of this life
I just wanna scream
How could this happen to me

I’ve made my mistakes
got nowhere to run
The night goes on as I’m fading away
I’m sick of this life
I just wanna scream
How could this happen to me

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6 thoughts on “How Could This Happen to Me?

  1. Hi Karen,
    I also like this song, and when I first heard it I thought it was about suicide–then when I saw the video I realized it was actually a song against drinking and driving. Did Barry know this? Of course we don’t know. But it seems likely to me that he may well have, and the song was not necessarily a cry for help that you missed.

    Sherry

  2. I don’t know what Barry thought when he heard this song, Sherry. I suppose I’m reading too much into things these days, but that’s because I need to have answers that I’ll never get. It’s frustrating.

  3. hi my names leesa.. my sister and i were friends of barrys your story touched me and i send my deepest condolences to you. i didnt get a chance to come up to you at the funeral. but i have a poem i wrote and we also have a few photos of barry and we were wondering if you would like them. if you could please email me and ill send them straight back…
    thanks

  4. I’ve heard this song so many times and have never registered the lyrics. I was surprised to read how strong they are, but I think they are quite open to interpretation.

  5. That’s true, Helen.

    Daniel tells me that the song was used for a drink driving ad here in Australia. I never saw the ad, but I think it’s been taken off the air now. However, that backs up what Sherry said too.

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