111: ‘Only Prettier’ by Miranda Lambert

Last time Sara met her siblings went less than well.

That is a long time ago now. And one late night, she sees them out with their friends. Sara is sitting and talking with King. They notice her and push away their high life friends, so they don’t see her, before walking up to her.

Sara has missed them and has softened significantly since last time. Still, she can’t herself from mocking them by thanking for saving her from talking to their friends with their southern charm. She comments on how they are still so well-behaved, just like their parents wanted.

She, however, offers up a handshake and a truce. She doesn’t want a fight. They can just agree to disagree and make amends, even though they don’t like each other. They’re after all not that different – Sara is just prettier (same can be said for her friends compared to theirs).

She offers them a drink, but they say no because they’re trying to lose weight. And true, they both weigh 100 pounds and stand 5 foot 3.

So she just says “bless your heart” and buys another drink for herself.

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109: ‘Good To Be A Man’ by Elle King

Sara doesn’t just dance. She also gets a good talk.

Sara does not have the best opinion of men. And King, the guy she is talking to, does nothing to help that opinion. In his defence, he owns up to it. He admits to not having a conscience and not feeling bad for the awful things he says.

This makes him a perfect target for Sara’s venting: About men drinking until they get mean, chewing tobacco, always having to be right, cheating and just doing dumb things because they should. She tells a story about a guy she knew, who got stuck in a ditch, which she knew, he would.

They agree that being a man is damn good these days.

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108: ‘Lose It’ by Oh Wonder

Sara has been messing with an ex-boyfriend’s emotions as revenge. That has however reminded her, that she hasn’t felt this kind of intimacy in a long time. Now she misses it.

So she goes out and finds someone to dance with. She doesn’t even know their name, but she gets the sense of closeness. Her dance partner is so skinny, she can feel their bones beneath their skin. She feels a blood rush in the hazy glow, her heart skips a beat.

Her dance partner feels it too. They look at her wide-eyed. There is a spark between them, a fire in a silver dream. It’s a simple connection, presence in its most basic state.

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106: ‘Not Afraid’ by Eminem

This is a flashback from when Slim, the rapper who was an inspiration to Sara, still had daughters to raise.

Slim was a rapper then too. He had a friend and a faith.

Then he went to a bad place; he started drinking.

Now he was out of it and he wanted to lead his fans who were also in a bad place out with him. Nothing would stop him from doing this.

He had not been popular while he was drinking. He had made some bad albums (named Infinite and Relapse) but kept making music. He was married to the game, and couldn’t stop. This made people doubt his talent and look down on him.

Dre, his friend had been particularly critical, not even recognising his work as rap. He had even insulted him publicly while calling himself king. Thus Slim had lost all respect for his former mentor and cut contact with him.

He promised his fans he would never let them down again. He even admitted that the Relapse album wasn’t very good. Maybe he ran the accents into the ground. He won’t go back to that again.

He was not just leading the fans out a dark place. He was saving himself from the dark cloud still following him around. He would face his own demons as well.

He wanted them to walk this road together, hand in hand, through the storm, cold and warm weather. The important thing was making clear that they were not alone.

This was also his way of paying back the fans for seeing him through his drinking.

Now he would not concern himself with haters and former friends. He would focus on his responsibilities as a father. He was strong enough to resist drinking and be an inspiration to his fans.

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99: ‘She Hates Me’ by Puddle of Mudd

Mudd meets a woman and falls in love. For about a week and a half, everything is grand.

Then he slowly remembers that he has met her before. In fact, he has dated her before. And he has broken her heart before. And she hates him for it. This is her revenge.

She doesn’t come out of the experience scot-free either, though…

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94: ‘Two Black Cadillacs’ by Carrie Underwood

It had been a long time since Sara kicked out her married lover.

One day she gets a call from his wife, Evanescence. The wife who apparently doesn’t know that he had cheated on her, which he had led Sara to believe.

Evanescence is shocked to find out. She herself has been flirting with someone else and hidden that, but couldn’t bear the thought of him having an actual, real affair. Sara assures her, that he need not know anything about her flirting. Not yet, anyhow. She should wait for the exact right time to tell him.

Two months later they finally meet each other at the husband’s funeral. both the preacher and his brother have good things to say about him, but the two women don’t even cry. They do all things you’re supposed to do: put a rose down and throw a handful of dirt in the grave, but all with dry eyes. But Evanescence also throws down a letter telling him everything. She has not said anything to him while he was alive.

Sara sees her do it. They smile knowingly and both walk away.

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90: ‘You Don’t Know’ by Katelyn Tarver

Sara helps young girls to be more confident.

Katelyn needed a more personal talk. Sara went home thinking that had helped her. But Katelyn arrives at the next class just as down and hard on herself as she was before. Sara tries once again to reach her, but this time the girl snarls at her.

She tells her, she has learned her lesson. She just doesn’t want to be okay right now. She wants to give up and let go, not fight to be better. And she doesn’t want Sara’s advice. Everyone keeps telling her to keep her head up and that she is alright, but no one knows what’s it like to be her. She does realise that this might not be a good way to deal with her issues, but she doesn’t care.

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