The trench coat fit him better, now.
It had changed. He had changed. A lot had changed since…
He didn’t want to think about that. Not now, even though he was heading straight towards a symbol— no, a motif, that represented the exact thing he hadn’t talked about in an entire month.
But, the trench coat. It seemed fitting – in two different ways – not only for the weather, but also because he had lost a lot of weight, 15 pounds of muscle mostly, since he refused to eat.
He refused to do a lot of things, now.
No eating, no sleeping, no thinking, no nothing.
Because everything reminded him of her.
Literally. Every. Single. Thing.
But he ignored those thoughts, and put up that invisible shield he had gotten so accustomed to in the time being of an exact 31 days.
He went to school every day, but still, it wasn’t the same.
They had to take three whole weeks – an unnecessary, pain-staking long time, at least that’s what he thought – to fix everything.
After all, students’ records were strewn across the stairwell, desks in the classrooms were tumbled and toppled over everywhere, bags of pot brownies were found in a math room, and not to mention the fact that someone had vaulted—
He stopped himself just in time. He knew who had vaulted through the window. Again, it was her. And here was he was, rethinking his entire thought process, just so he could erase her from his memory.
He wouldn’t do it if it wasn’t necessary, but it was. It hurt too much to think about her. To think that she was gone off the face of the earth, just like that, in the snap of a finger.
And still, even though the kind-hearted, grinning, platinum blonde haired boy that he now counted as a friend, who was also now in a wheelchair and who he used to fight with to have the same girl he still loved, told him again and again, that he shouldn’t be trying to let go, he couldn’t.
He needed to let go. No matter what the cost.
Because enduring the pain of thinking about her was unbearable.
It was raining, almost pouring buckets that midnight. His brother was safe at home. He knew the fear that was in his little brother’s eyes as he watched the only family left was leaving him. And his little brother still needed him, sane or not.
He was to that point now— convinced that he was insane. It was the only logical reason that kept him striving, that kept him from collapsing to the ground and lying six feet under.
Again, just like how she was. And all because of him.
He hadn’t bothered to draw up his hood or put on a hat, no, he simply walked outside, letting the rain drench the top of his head and run down his back, leaving a cold, shivery trail.
He decided to walk, since it wasn’t that far away; the cemetery. How ironic. He lived so close to death, he played and toyed with it, death. It was amazing that he wasn’t death himself.
Unexpectedly, he reached the cemetery in under five minutes, a new record for himself. He had been walking briskly without noticing. A lot of things had gone under his radar without noticing, he suddenly seemed to realize…
He stopped a few feet away from the tall, lanky boy – although you couldn’t exactly see – that sat comfortably in his wheelchair, his bright, platinum blond hair almost like a beacon to the tombstone.
Where she lay.
His voice was quiet as he spoke to the wheelchair-clad boy. “How long have you been here?” He said, in a voice so quiet and raspy, he thought the other boy wouldn’t hear him.
And then he thought it over. Here he was, calling him and the other male 'boys'. They weren’t boys anymore. Boys didn’t go through traumatic experiences like they did. No, the only title that they could bestow upon themselves now was men; the only such honor they had “earned”.
“Only a few minutes,” The other teenage/young man assured him in an equally quiet voice. “Not to worry.”
The other teenage man silently nodded, not saying anything for a few more seconds until he asked, “Do you have it?”
He was surprised, for once, as he heard a thunk and saw the side view of the platinum blonde’s Adam’s apple bob up and down.
“Of course I do.” He said, his voice cracking a little.
“Please,” The other teenage man said to the one sitting in his wheelchair. He had held it in for so long; he didn’t want to lose it all now.
The fair-skinned teenage man held out his hand, and there in it, lie one beautifully dark blue rose, the thorns still attached to the stem, but neither man noticed it as they transferred it to each other’s hands.
The teenage man closed his eyes as he saw a single tear glide down the wheelchair teenage man’s pale face.
He lay the beautiful rose atop the tombstone, which read:
Melita Raphael Young
Beloved Daughter, Sister, and Aunt
Friday, May 31st, 1996 – Thursday, February 11th, 2012
“A week before prom,” Ivan said, the tears coming down uncontrollably now, his shaky hands clutching to the arms of his wheelchair, letting out the terror he’d felt for so long.
Dre finally lost it. He put his hands to his face and muffled the sounds of the agonizing sobs he had been holding in for so long.
And he couldn’t but think:
The girl he had loved for as long as he could remember was dead.
And all because of him.