Prologue (June 2016)
“Come on mom were going to miss our flight” This always happened when we travelled, I Would be ready with my sister Rory sitting on the front porch while my mom and dad were scrambling to find their passports, or looking for their lucky socks, gosh I Loved all of them to death but we were going to miss our flight, school had just gotten out and I Was very excited about adventure….
Sitting on the beach with hot tears running down her face, feeling the sand from beneath her feet. She strolled along, skipping stones as she walked. Sometimes it felt like they were still here with me, while other times I Realize how alone I Really am.
It's been a year since the plane crash and everyone I Ever loved is gone, we were all on that flight but I Was the only survivor. Almost the same thing happened every day, there was always someone wanting to talk to me or bring me an “ I'm so sorry” chocolate basket, I've collected 40 in the past month, usually donating them to the people that really need it. The only thing that soothed the pain was long walks on the beach and writing. Sure I Did other things but these were the things that I did most after all what are you supposed to do in a house all by yourself with no one but a dog named toothpaste to keep you company. Especially in the summer when you see that all of your classmates are on awesome adventures to Costa Rica or Dubai but you are just here on the beach walking, sobbing, remembering the good times, remembering the past.
Have you ever been alone? I Wrote into my sand covered notebook, have you ever been this alone with no one that loves you besides a dog named toothpaste. He ran out of the house soon after that, his golden fun reflecting across the sunset, and splashing wet sand and seawater wherever he went. As he snuggled his small wet body next to me I Began a new page of my story “she sat there in sorrow, wishing they would have never left that hectic morning, wishing the pilot wasn't drunk, wishing no one had died that sad, sad morning”, the tears began to reappear as I Continued the story of the crash it will be called the last one left because that is what I Am “she remembered the landing, watching people fall out of the sky, bags, cups, plane parts, she had woken up two days after the crash up against a rock by a river, with a strange lady with welcoming eyes patting a wet rag on her arm, she remembered sitting there and calling Rory’s name, “who’s that my dear child” the lady said My Sister she murmured terrified” “soon after she said her name Paisley White the lady gasped and pulled out her phone, all Paisley could think was, what is going on, who are you, where am I?” now back on the beach the sun was setting, toothpaste was snoring softly on her lap, it was almost dark so I Wandered home soon following, toothpaste in my arms I Unlocked the house and sat down on the white couch, toothpaste ran into another room and came back with his favourite purple ball “in a minute toothpaste I Need to finish my page” I Muttered, he backed down with dread. I Doubt he could understand me but I looked at him and smiled, what would I Do without you? Soon all the sounds of life floated away as I Entered my chapter “the next thing the small girl remembered was an ambulance, in the car she was scared doctors already poking needles in her arm, taking her temperature, and asking her questions, after a while she found out that she was the last one left from the plane crash,
her mom and dad crashed head first into the ground and perished minutes after touching the dirt, her sister died before even touching the ground, she got hit in the head with the wing of the plane and lost consciousness.”
I Cried remembering Rory's face, my moms laugh, and my dad's smile I Haven't felt this alone in a while because of school, but over the summer I Drowned in my own company, sure people came to visit but it was always to bring me dinner, or to pay their respects, not to have a decent conversation. So I Spent my time writing, and on the beach, or inventing in my basement, little things like an alarm clock, or a remote can opener. They were just little things to keep me entertained. Late into the night, I Went to the kitchen, rubbing my eyes while pouring some water into my favourite crystal champagne glass, then I Added a lemon, vodka and some sugar, to create what I Like to call light heavy lemonade.
Do you know what it's like to wake up alone, usually you would awaken to the sound of a mother's cheery voice or your little sibling asking if they could play with you but no, I Wake up to an alarm at 5:00 am every day, Ding Ding Ding I hear as it goes off toothpaste opening his eyes like usual. Once your alone and nothing is normal somethings just need to be set so that the world is a little bit more normal. I Get up. Brush my teeth. Walk into the kitchen and get toothpaste breakfast, one cup of dry food, and half a cup of wet food. Two cups of water. Pour some lemonade into a mason jar, not light heavy just normal. Following the routine, I reach longingly for my purple sports bra, and navy leggings slide on some sneakers and I’m out the door. Nothing is open yet except for the cliche stores that are open 24 hours, so I Run and run, mile after mile, hour after hour. I circle around and I’m home the way sadness works is a strange puzzle the world is yet to figure out. For me it's an empty hole sitting in my heart, nothing feels complete but eventually, I Need to get it together so I Try meditation. Massages. Therapy. Nothing can replace a lost family. “Have you ever lost someone??”, “you probably have, whether it was a friend, a family member, a pet, a lover. You have lost someone in your life and deep down even if you think you are over it your still sad”. Someday I Won't be sad anymore but it's only been a year. Toothpaste wrapped himself up against me as a get some water after my 15.5-mile run. How Long for a good company, High and listen to the birds, toothpaste’s breathing, Pay attention to the waves crashing. Ah, that sound will forever warm the heart, I Have so many good memories with that sound in the background it's like every time the waves crash upon the sand, a memory pops up into my head. Do you ever remember something so many times it becomes more real than a memory? Because I Remember the day we got toothpaste like it was earlier this morning….
I was 14, so about a year and a half ago we found him, me and my sister Rory, along with my friends benet, and Claire was walking downtown our parents not far behind, when suddenly benet said to me, “wanna go dumpster diving” and I Was like sure! So that is exactly what we did until I Found a purple suitcase that had whimpering inside. As we opened it up Isaw them toothpaste, and Arnold both families kept a puppy oh! They were so cute, that was possibly the best day of my life.
“Have you ever just sat there and wanted to die, well that's me every time I See a happy family in the store or playing on the beach because you see if I Died I Would be with my family”
You see in my life it's like my life flies on an airplane, inside are all my hopes and dreams, and each drop or acceleration is an emotion, well today for the first time in about a year I Feel fine.
Knock Knock Oh here comes breakfast I sigh, ms johnson I presume, and it sure is she knows I'm not much of a talker, so waffles and a blueberry smoothie as every Saturday morning is, but this time with a note, “school starts in a month better start that summer homework dearie” oh she is so nice. Always taking care of me.
And that's when she reminded me, I Haven't even glanced at my backpack since June, I'm sure it still has my drawing of Rory and my picture of mom and dad. It's been a year but I Still carry as much of them around as I can, wearing my mom's perfume, and sometimes my dad's flannels, me and Rory always shared closets. Ever since we were seven and I Had a purple onesie and she had an orange nightgown we would share because I Always had the onesies because he Rory was six she tripped over the foot of her onesie and got a bloody nose. Momma never let her buy one again. “It's all the little memories that hurt, watching families play on the beach, seeing signs for mother-daughter dances, every year since I was five and Rory was three we would do mother-daughter events, but by the month we would switch because one of us would do mother-daughter the other father-daughter, and then the months would switch every year. Every Friday we would go to paminos and have breakfast dinner. All these family things that I will never be able to do again”
Toothpaste came up behind me but he was carrying something rather strange in his mouth something wrapped in a brown paper bag I opened it and screamed…..