He had once gone to visit her every day. He trotted through the ankle deep snow to their old high school. The neighbors around would question his bizarre actions and turn their noses up with such ignorance that the man could not be angry with them for more than mere seconds.
The high school had once been abandoned for only twenty years. The intricate thoughts that wove about the overly concerned parents had forced administration to never use the rottingbuilding for as long as the people’s memories lasted.
She had gone to school there.
She had a happy-go-lucky personality and a dream that seemed to fade in the halls of the school along with her. A girl with dreams changed into a girl with nothing.
The man’s face was wearing thin from sorrow and his eyes beheld a certain sadness that no one could nor tried to understand. The girl was his sweetheart and anyone who talked to him discovered that he still talks about her as if she is here with him, and she may very well be.
The front door of the school is opened with a crank and when he strolls through, it slams on the other side barely missing his elbow. Grumbling down the main hall he remembers the times he had known her and been with her.
As he passed briskly by the biology room, the time they first met flashed through his mind and blurred his thoughts for a moment as he stared in awe.
“Class, pay attention,” his teacher had exclaimed on what seemed to be a random day in his sophomore year of high school.
He was still raving about the football game that was dominated the weekend before when he looked up and stopped his speech mid-sentence his mouth still parted as he took in the girl standing near him. His most rational thought was that this girl was the new student the school had been buzzing about for the past week.
“This is the lovely lady that will be joining you in your studies this year,” the teacher said and motioned to him with her hand, “Aubrey, you can take a seat next to Evan other there.”
She had long strides and as she neared, Evan looked at her long brown hair falling over the line of her waist and her ripped jeans that were far too long to fit her small frame. She seemed over-confident, like she knew what she wanted and had an intricate plan she was following in order to achieve it.
“Hi,” he breathed and later felt stupid for not being able to mutter another word to her the entire class, but near the dawnof the hour she asked for his phone number in case she needed help in class and he wrote it with a shaky hand.
He continued on his journey through his memories. Even if his high school peer’s tiny memories of her had faded, his would never, because ever since the moment he met her, she had consumed his every thought and every action. Everything done from there on was to help her and he assumes that he did.
The cafeteria was the focal point in their relationship; it was there that he paid for her lunch when she had forgotten to bring money for the day. And there is the exact place that he first asked her to eat lunch with him in the courtyard. She later revealed that she had only accepted out of kindness and pity and he laughed a loud and emotional laugh.
“I never expected that you would care so much about my life and my dreams,” she confided in junior year.
“A girl with dreams as big as yours can be scary,” he spoke.
“You think I’m frightening?” she questioned with a smirk playing on her small lips.
“No, I think you are amazing, I think you’re dreams are frightening. Someone with dreams and wishes as large as yours only comes around once a decade.”
Near the beginning of senior year he watched her dreams get crushed day after day after day. He did the best he could to prove to those people that she had a heart big enough to achieve anything she put her mind to, but was completely and utterly disappointed when he was the only one sticking up for her because she had lost the faith she had in herself as well as so many other people had.
Her parents had called her a disappointment, which she was far from. She documented what it felt like to be so utterly depressed that it consumed her thoughts and mind during what seemed like exciting daily activities. He tried to help her get through his faze, but she had no hope and no confidence and felt as if this wasn’t a faze at all, this was her life.
“Why?” he yelled out his voice echoing through the halls of the place he once treasured, “Why did you people take her life away?”
He pushed back the tears begging to rush out of his eyes and began to walk the second half of the school, his feet now hurting, his heart pounding, and his life ruined. He punished himself every day for her death because he knew that if he had tried harder that she would still be living and that they would now be married with a child that could head out every morning to the high school that they met at, but it was impossible.
His fate was intertwined with a girl who was willing to give up everything for her dream just to have her dream as well as her will tarnished.
The last door on his right was always the door most difficult to pass by. It was her favorite room, the room that she would sit in after school not daring to go home until she had to. She would sit and work mercilessly on her countless homework assignments, and he would sit next to her and help her on her math and science questions. She was born to become the next world renowned writer and he was born to be a chemist.
Usually he tried to run past the door and out of the school with such speed that his mind couldn’t even begin to conjure the countless memories waiting for him in that room but it was different today. He stood outside the door like a statue for some time before he grabbed the knob. Even then he could not bring himself to open the door for minutes.
“Just do it,” he whispered to himself and with a hard crank to the left and a strong push, the door opened up revealing their room. He walked in and plopped down in the far left corner. There was once a small table there and she had said once that she felt secure when she sat underneath it. He looked about the room with glossy eyes and a frown when he heard a creek, then a hiss of pain and finally the fumbling with the door knob.
Only one step into the room he recognized the old women as Aubrey’s mother. She strode confidentially and looked around hastily seeming not to notice him sitting in the corner. A sigh of relief left her plump, red lips and she fell to the floor in exasperation. She was on her hands and knees when she started talking to herself.
“I don’t blame you for this, I could never, and will never, but you were the one who took the load and acted out and without you here, I am dying, just like you did.”
She sat up with tears in her eyes and I sat paralyzed in the shadows of her favorite corner.
“The capability of your heart is more than that of mine,” she spoke and looked at him.
He couldn’t find the will to respond and Aubrey’s mother nodded to him in understanding. This was one person who possibly understood what he was going through.
“I was hoping that I would find you one day,” she spoke, “Evan, Aubrey had told me to give you this when I thought it was right, and now seems a better time than ever.”
Aubrey’s mother’s long, thin finger reached into her pocket and she grabbed a small pink paper, Aubrey’s pink paper. The same paper Aubrey used on almost every homework assignment and countless sessions of notes. Aubrey’s mother stood up and walked over to him sitting down too close to ever be considered conformable.
“This was her spot,” he said in a whisper.
Aubrey’s mother nodded one brief time and got off the ground and walked to back to the door leading into the miscellaneous room in the large and scary school.
The pink paper was lying next to his leg and slowly he picked up the paper and unfolded it. The folds were so harshly indented that some of the lines were insanely hard to read and he thought he might not read them, but this was her letter. The letter Aubrey had written in goodbye to him:
I’m sure by now that you’ve forgotten about little old me. I was going to become a beautiful writer with countless novels published and many new ideas formed in my one-sided mind, but I never thought about others and even now, the day before I will take my own life, I am still being the selfish girl I always was. The only things I really need to tell you are that I am sorry and thankful that you were here for me to rely on in my life. I needed you to get me through high school and even though I never actually made it, with you I wouldn’t of had to worry about it.
Knowing you, you probably blame yourself for this whole ordeal, but none of this was your fault. None of it was anyone’s fault but mine. I take blame for my own actions, and I believe that everyone else should. A small apology could never make up for what I did to you, but I guess that it’s a start.
Evan, I love you.
“I love you too,” he whispered and at that moment he remembered the second reason that Aubrey loved this corner so much. At dawn when the sun went down the light shone through the small window at the opposite corner of the room and told her that it was time to leave for the day.
Now it told him that it was his time to leave too, but not just for the day.