In the summer of 2005 I met Ashley. We both lived in an old Texas town where everyone knew everyone; you can’t walk outside your house without people recognizing your face. I was your typical nerd in school, the captain of the debate team, and your straight A student with asthma. In the other hand Ashley was the popular, beautiful girl that everyone loved and knew; the type of girl that would walk in a room and get noticed without even trying. Ashley would change the atmosphere around her wherever she stepped foot in.
That summer our high school had a “Welcome to high-school” bon fire for everyone that was attending the ninth grade. At the bon fire everyone would just hang around talk to friends they had met in the eighth grade or make new friends as they embark on the high school journey. The night of the bon fire I decided to get out of my house, turn off my Xbox and go out to socialize with people that were becoming my classmates soon, little did I know I was not going to regret this.
I arrived to event and I sat down by Ashley since I had seen her around, we never spoke a word, but since she was a familiar place it made me feel little more comfortable. “We are young, heartache to heartache we stand, no promises no demands, love is a battlefield” the familiar tune from Pat Benatar played as her ringtone.
“Excuse me, was that Pat Benatar playing in your phone?’ I knew the song I was just trying to make friendly conversation with this pretty girl.
‘It is indeed”, Ashley responded with a beautiful pearl smile and just like that an instant connection was established between us. The rest of the night Ashley and I sat down talking about classic rock and how much we had in common; we shared our favorite bands and songs, the night I met Ashley was perfect the moon and the stars shining upon was there was nothing quite like it, and she was perfect. For the rest of the summer Ashley and I would hang out, we would go down by the lake and just talk about music, life, and school, nothing was ever serious the time that we spend together was our time to escape reality and drift away to a beautiful perfect world where only good music and good friendship exist.
That fall I had the courage to ask Ashley to the fall formal for our high school, I still can’t recall where I found the courage to ask such a beautiful girl, Ashley being the amazing girl that she was said “yes”. Maybe she accepted out of pure friendship or just pure courtesy and quite frankly I didn’t care, I was going to spend the dance with the most beautiful girl in our high school and that’s all that mattered to me.
. The day of the dance arrived and Ashley and I went down the lake like always to talk before the dance. Ashley was perfect, the way her dress fit her body, her bright blue eyes, and she was my dream girl, the one I wanted to have a future with the one I wanted to talk classic rock with for the rest of my days. I finally understood what Elton John had being singing about all this whole time in “Something about the Way You Look Tonight”.
After the lake Ashley and I drove to the fall formal, as she got in my car she plugged in her IPod and started playing her favorite songs and I just drove to school enjoying her company and listening to her sing along to the music she had chosen. We get to the dance and take a couple of pictures, talk to some people and dance, most of my friends did not believe I was with Ashley, they were expecting her to be with the captain of the football team instead she settled with the school geek.
As the dance reached its conclusion Ashley and I walked to my car so we could finally go home. I knew I had to ask Ashley to be my girlfriend it was now or never. I walk with my hands on my pockets and Ashley walks with her heels on her hands apparently the heels were killing her feet. We get to my car and as I opened the door for my date, my mouth decided to speak words I wouldn’t normally had the courage to speak “Ashley would you be my girlfriend?” Ashley smiled like usual and accepted to be my girlfriend. I was at the top of the world with this answer, everything was perfect, but there is an old saying that would come hunt me in the future months to come, “ It’s too good to be true”.
A couple of months pass and Ashley and I were happier than ever, we would go down by the lake as much as we could, that’s the beautiful thing about living in Texas it can be winter and one can still go down by the lake and enjoy a sunny day.
On one rainy day I decided to cook dinner for Ashley, transform my living room into a fancy restaurant, plug in my IPod and make this a night that we can both remember in the future.
Ashley arrives as beautiful as ever, but there was something peculiar about her that night, something I couldn’t put my finger on. Ashley ate her food, and left in quite a hurry. I sat down in shock in my living room thinking to myself “What’s going on was the food bad?” twenty minutes later I received a call from her.
“What’s wrong baby? Was the food bad? Was it something I said?” I bombarded her with questions as I picked up the phone, and that’s when I heard my beautiful girlfriend crying in the other line. “We need to talk David meet me by the school entrance tomorrow morning” and then the line was dead. Ashley’s voice had fade into darkness and had left me here wondering what was going on.
"Crap!! What did I do?! She is about to break up with me isn't she?" my sick twisted mind started playing games with me. I knew such a perfect girl would not stick around with me for long. Ashley meant everything to me, she is the girl of my dreams, my best friend, and without her I would be lost, she was my first girlfriend and my first love. I tried laying down catching my breath since my asthma had been triggered by anxiety and nervousness. I remember getting an asthma attack that same year during P.E. class where Ashley had witness my problem that I had being trying to hide from her for so long. The doctors arrived and Ashley held my hand trying to make me feel better. Maybe that was it, maybe Ashley didn’t want to be with a weak guy, maybe she wanted, needed someone stronger, someone who could take care of her like my friends had expected someone like the captain of the football team.
Next thing I remember I was lying down in the flood and the sun had come up, my asthma must have knocked me out unconscious throughout the night and it all seemed as if all of this was just a bad nightmare.
I weakly get up and check my phone to read a text that Ashley had sent that morning "David I still need to talk to you, please don’t forget to meet me” This was it, my heart was about to be broken. I leave my phone on the bed and I start getting dressed for what it was bound to be one of the darkest, saddest days of my life. I try searching through my closet for a nice shirt and some nice jeans, but in the back of my head I start to think to myself "Who tries to look attractive for a break up, David you're such a loser!! No wonder why Ashley is leaving you!"
I get dressed and make my way down stairs to catch the bus. As the bus arrives I try finding a seat next to a window so I could rest my weary head against it. The scenario was set for disaster, gray skies; lighting in the far side of the city and everything around me looked dark even though it was just 7:35 in the morning. My IPod began playing "Bad Moon Rising" “great even my IPod knows it’s going to be a bad day”. It takes the bus fifteen minutes to arrive to school. I step off the bus with heavy feet and a heavy heart, all of the sudden I feel like I'm over 200 pounds, yet I only weight 115.
My first instinct as I was stepping out of the bus was too look for Ashley, but she was nowhere to be found. This worried me, what kind of a girl would want to break up with you and not even show up, is she even worth my time? As these thoughts ran through my head I decided to call Ashley and see where she was. “The person you've try to reach is not available please leave a message" I called her two more times but got the same response, I had to stop trying to get a hold of Ashley or else I would be late for my first class.
I make my way inside of school when I hear the first bell ring and I had to begin my school day, oh the joy of starting school with a broken heart and a history class. My head was filled with thoughts of Ashley; I had no brain space for WWII video clips. I dragged myself from class to class looking for Ashley but she hadn’t shown up to school. I couldn’t stop thinking about her, and my friends didn’t help the cause either asking me “Where is Ashley, Why aren’t you with her?”
School passed like a summer breeze and before I could realize it was the final bell, and I had made up my mind to go by Ashley's house to see what was really going on.
"This is it David, You're going to get to her house and you're going to tell her how it is. You're going to look at her straight in the eyes and break up with her before she can break up with you".
My mind was right I had to break up with the girl of my dreams before she could break up with me. As I walked down the street to Ashley’s house my eyes meet up with the red and blue lights in front of the two story house, ambulances surrounded the house perimeter and immediately all I wanted to know was if Ashley was okay. My legs started sprinting towards the house as if they had a mind of their own. When I get to the front door I see Ashley being carried away in a stretcher, her neck in a brace, and her beautiful face unconscious.
“What happened here? What’s going on?” I asked her parents and before I knew it tears where pouring down my pale face.
“I’m sorry David that we never told you this, Ashley has been suffering from a severe case of cancer. The doctors discovered last year when Ashley started losing weight, the cancer at that point had spread and it was too late to fight it. Ashley is in her final stage. I’m so sorry David” As the final words came out of Ashley’s mother she crumbled to the ground and broke down in tears. Their precious princess and only daughter was dying, this terrible condition was destroying her life.
The ambulances took Ashley to the emergency room, where doctors tried saving her, tried everything in their power allowed but God to save her, but it was just a matter of time before Ashley left this world and head to a scary unknown afterlife. Her family and I sat down next to her, her mother hold Ashley’s hands and I hold my face to try to stop the tears just in case Ashley wakes up; I wouldn’t want her to see me cry. Her father holding back his tear to be some sort of comfort to Ashley’s mother and me and then something marvelous happens; Ashley opens her eyes and starts speaking to us. A dialogue that no one in their lives ever wants to hear; “It’s time to let me go, I’ll be alright, I’ll watch over you guys from the heaven above. Mom, dad, don’t cry I won’t be suffering anymore and David I’m sorry I never told you about this, if I haven’t said this before ‘I love you’ I always have.’ And then as she let those words out she followed them with that perfect smile that made everyone fall in love with her that last smile that would stay with me for the rest of my life. The smile started fading away and just like that Ashley’s eyes closed and the machines that surrounded her started beeping, letting everyone around know Ashley was gone.
Death started creeping around the room, the scent of sickness and disease filled the air around us. Ashley’s last breath of life had left and all that was left of her was her weak pale body, and the emptiness that she had left behind. Nurses started rushing in pushing her mother out of the way, Ashley was really gone and there was nothing I could do to stop this. How can I live with myself when Ashley made me feel better when my asthma attacked me in P.E. class and now I can’t even return the favor.
That night Ashley’s dad took me home. “Get some rest son” Ashley’s dad told me as I stepped out of the car. We both knew getting some rest was the last thing we were going to do. I laid in bed listening to my IPod listening to all of Ashley’s favorite songs reminiscing of our first date, the way we would hang down by the river and the way my angel smiled. All these memories terrorized me and I couldn’t stop my eyes from crying. I decided to say a prayer that night hoping Ashley would hear me; “Wherever you are Ashley I already miss you, I love you.”
The next morning I got up early and I made a picnic basket as if I was getting ready for a date with Ashley. I choose a nice shirt and some nice jeans and I head to the lake. On my way to the lake I played Ashley’s IPod since she left it there the last time she was in my car. I lay down the picnic blanket and all the food and I start to eat and talk to myself picturing Ashley’s face in front of mine. After I ate all that I had brought I strip down to my trousers and go inside the lake. I put my head under water and I picture her smile, the way everyone loved her, the way I love her and after five seconds of being in the water I raise my head and I see a bright sun ahead of me. Ashley’s dead was not the end of our relationship as I realized that one day I’ll be seeing Ashley again in heaven above where no one not even her cancer would be able to separate us.