Chapter 1: Goodbye, home.
"Beth, sweetie?" My mother calls from the doorway. I turn and see her tired face.
"Are you ready?" she tries to put on a smile, but both dad and I have always noticed when she was forcing it, like now.
"Yes." I murmur quietly so she won't hear my voice crack.
"'Kay, the van is outside. You'll be driving with your Uncle, will you be okay with that? It's just the car is full of stuff in the back seat and…." She trails off.
"It's okay, Mom. Uncle Trevor and I will be fine." I manage. She nods, looking around the empty room one last time. Her eyes begin to water and she turns away, walking to the front door.
I don't want to move. My friends are all here. My life is here…. Well whatever is left of it…. I guess in a way moving will be a good thing, but at the same time it's a bad thing. In another state I can get a new life, start all over, make new friends, forget the past…. But forgetting the past would mean to forget Ryan.
If anything, I at least owe him that much, to keep him alive through me, wherever I go, and remember him. Even through the pain and regret and guilt that will come with it…. Knowing Ryan, if he were here right now, he'd say it wasn't my fault. That's how comforting he was, and now, there is no one. There is nothing.
I still remember his casket being lowered into the dark depths of the Earth. Into the dirt. Into the place I put him. Ryan doesn't deserve to rot in the ground….no one does. But this is Earth; I guess there is no other way to give him a better funeral. I mean, a better place for his body to lie with death. The bedroom walls lie stripped of his posters and pictures and anything of his. The room is bare white. The room should feel foreign or strange, right…?
Yet all I feel is stripped away of my life, of all my good memories. Instead, my memories are replaced with bad ones. My feelings smashed. My mind tired. My eyes swollen from always holding back the tears that the psychologist said should be okay to shed. But they aren't. I cannot allow myself to cry. With tears, come pity and sympathy. All of which I do not deserve. I deserve to feel this way, I deserve to be in pain. I deserve it all….
"Beth?" I jump a little at the sound of Uncle Trevor's voice. I look and see him standing behind me. His face broad, brown eyes unreadable, and brown hair mangled from the wind. I see something change in his eyes and then I feel the wetness on my face.
Clearing my throat, I turn away and wipe my face trying to make it seem like I'm rubbing my eye.
"Sorry, you ready?" I ask.
"Whenever you are kiddo." He says. "You okay?"
"Of course." I mumble. He nods, his face also full of sorrow just standing in this now blank room which has been deprived of all life that was once in it.
"I'll wait out in the front." He says stiffly. I nod, understanding his discomfort.
I take one more look at Ryan's room…. This time, I feel a restrained tear escape. It's time. Time to let go, yet carry on. Time to cry, yet hold it all in. It was time to leave. Slowly, I walk to the door. Turning once more, I try to imagine Ryan next to me. I try to imagine his room. I even desperately try to remember his voice. Anything, anything that wouldn't be so painful to remember but I get nothing except the pictures of that night and a sting comes to my eyes.
"Goodbye, Ryan." I whisper.