The walls around me reek with the smell of musty dirt. I sit on the edge of my spring filled mattress and look around, this is my life. Living in the shadow of a father that doesn’t seem to even acknowledge my existence. In a run down house that is just outside of town. I can see why my mother left my father so long ago. I hate her for not taking me with her. Why did she leave me here. Every day is a game, waiting to see what comes next or what will be leaving me next. It’s a game that I always seem to lose; I don’t want to play anymore. It is dim and cold in the room, the smell of rotten soil and dirt fill my nostrils. I feel like I am a living secret stored in this box that the world doesn’t want to know.
Throwing my bags on the mattress I close my eyes and wonder what the girl that changed my world might be doing right now. What is she doing? It was when we moved to Iowa when I met her. The first day walking into geometry class and seeing her tear stained face I wanted to, needed to, talk to her and heal whatever wounds she had been exposed to. From that day to the day she finally confessed her love for me I was most positive I was never leaving her. I would dream of the day that we would have lived together, away from this town, my father, and my past. Again, why would she leave me here too?
Laying back on the mattress I close my eyes as the darkness takes me further in.
“What do you want to be when you get older?” she whispers as I hold her in my arms tight, keeping her warm from the nightly climate.
“Not sure yet,” I sigh, “probably an astronaut.” I smile and nudge her slightly.
She giggles quietly. “I like that,” her voice soft and beautiful, looking up at me her eyes glistening from the reflection of the moon, “I want to live in a big house on a hill in the country where we can watch the stars every night like this,” she motions to the to the sky with both hands, “promise?”
Opening my eyes I want to weep with the idea of her and the memories that we have shared. I gaze down at my watch waiting…Not wanting to face what’s next I stand with what feels like rocks in my throat and tears burning my eyes. Not yet. Don’t cry, not yet. I open my bedroom door as it creaks with every move. Go. I walk past my drunken father on the couch careful not to wake him and go out of the house not acknowledging anything or anyone and start down the road. This may just have been the worst walk of my entire life here on earth. My feet feel like bricks weighing me down telling me to stop and go back. I force myself to look up at the sky and trees that are annoyingly breathtaking. I reach down and pluck the different colored wildflowers one by one out of the ground. The yellow ones, she liked the yellow ones. I can’t even tell how long I’ve been walking but as I get closer I slow even more with each agonizing step. There it is. Go. My feet shuffle and I look down at her grave. My knees drop and so does my heart straight down into my stomach never to be found again. It was my first time at her grave because before it had been too hard to bear. My mouth opens and I feel like screaming but nothing comes out. “I’m sorry,” I choke “I’m so so sorry…” It feels like someone is taking a knife to my heart twisting and turning to every sob that I let out. I want to feel her again. I want to hold her in my arms. I want to tell her I love her again. Why? Picking up my head I look around in desperation. I am all alone.
The sun is starting to set as I move to get up and leave. The air seems too still and I hear nothing but the sound of feet crunching the ground beneath me. I lay the bouquet of yellow wildflowers in a perfect set. “I miss you. If what you say about this great big God and all is true, I don’t know why he would let you do this to yourself. I still don’t understand, but if what you said was true I hope you are watching over me while I walk through this lonely life without you,” tears stream down both cheeks. “Remember that one night that we laid under the stars together...you told me what you wanted…”
Next thing I know my legs are kicking up from behind me and I sprint. My vision blurry from each drop of sweat and tear representing all of the years that you have left for me to live. Your voice repeating in my brain like a recording that I am unable to turn off.
“I love you but I can’t take it anymore, I love you but I can’t take it anymore, I love you bu…”
Shouting this time, “NO! You promised! You Promised!” I bring both hands to my head latching onto my hair and scream at the ground as though it will give me the answers. I come to an abrupt stop, remembering when she said those words to me. Although it pained me to listen to her, I’d give anything to hear her say it one more time meaning that she would be alive saying it once again. Everything is spinning around me like I am in a bad dream that won’t let me escape. I could’ve saved her! WHY couldn’t I have saved her? We were never meant to say goodbye. I cry out again trying to fight myself from the terrifying but beautiful thing that this life gives us, memories.
She hasn’t answered my calls all day and she didn’t come to school. I walk quickly, eager to see how she is doing. Up the road I see bright flashing lights flickering off and on. Starting to jog to see what it is all about I see her parents standing outside arms around one another. As I get closer I can see people’s mouths moving to me but can’t hear anything past the sound of my own heartbeat in my ears. My whole body goes ice cold as I see a figure in a body bag getting rolled out of the house that I had spent many many nights in. It’s a joke, it’s got to be a joke. My lungs getting bigger and bigger filling with what feels like cement not letting me move. Everything goes black.
I can’t imagine ever coming back from a love like that. Still sitting on the gravel road in desperation I am quiet. I don’t need to talk, I don’t need to cry, I don’t even need to scream. My head pounding I look around for something, anything to keep me from leaving this world myself. I have nothing left for me here. Something stops me then,
“How was your day love?” she jumps on my lap and kisses me on the cheek twice. This was our usual Sunday. She would go to church with her parents and spend the day baking something that always ended up burnt while waiting for me to get off work. I laugh a little.
Sighing, “It’s perfect now,” looking into her intriguing and beautiful brown eyes.
She looks at me narrow and bites the inside of her cheek as if deciding on telling me a secret, “You are going to be alright you know that” I look at her confused, “this world is amazing, take advantage of it someday.” before I could say anything still confused she jumps up surprisingly with wide eyes, “Oh no! The cookies!” watching her run into the kitchen, I smile.
I feel the smile on my face fading a bit still stinging from her voice in my mind. A single tear falls slightly down the side of my face, “I promise.”