"I HATE you!" I yelled at the top of my lungs, slamming the front door behind me and running as far away from that house as I could.
And those were the last three words I ever said to my Mom. That very night, she killed herself. She left me as I had attempted to leave her. Two days after I decided to run away, I ran back to the house only to see my Dad sitting on the front porch step. He had just gotten back from a job interview in New York. Tears were streaming down his face. I had never in my life seen him cry before.
I ran up to him asking why he was crying. All he did was push me away and start walking back into the house, locking the door as soon as he shut it. Luckily I still had my key on a necklace tied around my neck, so I let myself in. I wasn't welcomed. There were so many members of my family in my house, and almost none of them said anything to me. The ones that did didn't have anything nice to say, that's for sure. I still at that time didn't understand what was going on; I hadn't heard the news yet. I ran up the stairs as fast as I could and opened my mom and dad's bedroom door.
"MOM!" I shouted. Once I got no answer I got extremely scared. "I am SO sorry. You're right, I can't live alone yet. I was stupid, and I'm sorry. I really, truly am. I love you. I need you." I whispered, hoping she'd reply then. She didn't.
Then my sister walked into the room. "Emily. What are you doing here?" she asked.
"Becca! I missed you so much!" I yelped as I ran up to her and hugged her with all of my might. Becca was two years older than me, and we were best friends as well as sisters. Then the unexpected happened. She pushed me away. "Becca, what's wrong?"
"What's wrong? Did you seriously just ask that? What isn't wrong is the real question."
"What are you talking about?"
"You mean you don't know?"
"Don't know what?" Then Becca sat me down and told me exactly what happened.
I am the biggest bitch in the world. How could I have done something so stupid? I knew my Mom was fragile, but I broke her heart anyway. I left her. I abandoned her. I told her that I hated her, and that I didn't need her. Now she was gone. Now my whole family hates me. It was my entire fault. I didn't want to cause some huge scene by walking downstairs, so I did what I used to always do. Climb out the window.
As soon as I landed on the yard with a thump, our apparently new neighbor walked up and stared at me.
"May I help you?" I questioned him.
"Oh, um, do you live here?" I had to admit, he was pretty cute. He had dark brown hair and bright blue eyes. His voice was so soothing.
"Well, I-I do. But I'm, well, not very welcomed now." I stammered.
"Oh. What do you mean?"
"Long story. But anyways, what are you doing here?"
"Well, my family and I just moved in across the street, and we heard about..."
"My mom." I interrupted.
"Yeah, your mom. I'm so sorry."
"Uh, thanks. But you should really say that to someone else. Basically my whole family is in my house right now."
"Why should I not say that to you? She was your mom."
"Listen, I don't know you... So I don't really feel comfortable telling you what went down here. Sorry."
"Well then maybe we should get to know each other. I'm Max by the way."
"It's nice to meet you, Emily. I love that name."
I couldn't help but blush "Thanks. I love your name too."
"Thanks, so, uh, wanna go for a walk with me?" his smile was so incredibly welcoming.
"Sure, that'd be great."
"But first, I should drop off this card and flowers. My Mom wanted me to drop them off here."
"Oh sure, here, I can show you where to put them. That's really nice of you and your mom." And so I led him into the house. Of course I got even meaner looks from my family. As much as I tried to ignore them, I couldn't. My eyes were brimming with tears. When we reached my Mom and Dad's room, I gestured to what was her nightstand. Max caught on and carefully placed the beautiful vase of Daffodils, Pansies, and Magnolias. They looked absolutely gorgeous, and they happened to be my Mom's favorite flowers.
"Wow, whoever chose the flowers for this gift, is amazing."
"I picked them out," Max chuckled. "Why am I so amazing?"
"Because these were my Mom's favorite flowers."
"Oh really? I picked these flowers because I noticed that they were planted in your front lawn. I had a feeling they might have meant something."
"They truly did to her. Okay, well I'm ready for that walk now! Are you?"
"Yeah, let's go!"
"Follow me," I spoke while opening the window. The look on Max's face was priceless.
"Um, does the door not work?"
"No, it does. It's just, I don't know if you saw the looks my family was giving me, but I can't afford to go down there again. It's too painful."
"Oh. Okay. Maybe on our walk could you tell me why they are giving you mean looks?"
And so we began our walk. We walked for an awkward five minutes without saying a word, unitl we arrived at this magnificent meadow. It looked too inviting to just walk past, so we walked onto the perfect grass and took a seat, letting its beauty sink in. Finally Max spoke up.
"It really is beauiful here."
"Sure is. Hey, where did you move from?"
"Oh cool, my older sister was actually born there. Then my family moved down here almost two years after, and I was born."
"Funny, I was born in Minnesota, but my older brother was born here."
"What's your older brother's name?"
"..His name was Charlie."
"Yeah, was. He died about four years ago." Max turned to face the opposite way then. When he turned back around, I could tell he was about to cry.
"Oh my gosh, I'm so sorry." I didn't know what else to say. My Mom was the only person closely linked in my family to die.
"It's alright, but thank you."
"Were you guys close?"
"Aw. Do you want to talk about it? You don't have to if you don't want to."
"Maybe later. I haven't talked about him since his death, and I really need to. But just not now. I'll be totally willing to some other time with you though. We will see each other again, right?"
"Yeah, you got a cell phone?"
"Yes I do. What's your number?" After exchanging numbers, Max decided to change the subject.
"So what about you? What's your sister's name?"
"Becca. And I have a younger sister named Alexis."
"Aw I've always wanted a younger sister, how old is Alexis?"
"She turns seven this March."
"Yeah she really is adorable."
"Oh, and how old are you?"
"I turn fifteen this September."
"No way me too. September and everything."
"No way! That's awesome!"
"I'm so glad I met you, Max. Really. No one in this town my age actually likes me. I don't have any friends. Well, besides Becca, but she's my sister, so she doesn't count. And plus she hates me now too."
"Seriously? No friends at all? That's ridiculous. At my town, I bet anyone would kill to have you as their friend."
"Aw thanks. But I seriously doubt that."
"No, don't doubt it. You're gorgeous. You're nice. You're sincere. You're funny. And I only just met you, like what, twenty minutes ago?"
"Fifteen. Fifteen minutes ago."
"And you're smart," Max giggled.
"Thank you. That means a lot."
"No problem. So since you said that your sister probably hates you now, can I know why?"
"Oh gosh. Okay. So two days ago, I kinda ran away from home. My Mom and I had a really big fight, and I couldn't take anymore of it. Living with her, I mean. I told her I didn't need her, and that I hated her. Worst mistake of my life. I came back today, only to find out that she killed herself. And it was my fault. All of it. That's why all of my family hates me. My Mom was the absolute favorite member of our family. Everyone loved her. Now she's gone, and everyone likes to point fingers at me. I feel so guilty."
"Wow. That's deep. I'm so sorry. I know what it's like to feel like you can't take anymore. I've run away quite a few times, actually. It isn't very fun. Especially when you come back and all they say is, 'I told you so.' But my advice to you, is don't feel guilty. It's a tragic thing that happened. But surely she wouldn't have killed herself over one thing. You couldn't have been the only thing that pushed her over the edge. Even if the rest of your family all blames you, don't blame yourself. It'll only make things worse for you. I suggest you get away from that house."
"Thank you for that advice. Hopefully I'll be able to follow it. Yeah, I really need to get away from all the blaming, but I don't have anywhere else to stay."
"Maybe you could stay with me. My Mom lives for having company."
"Really? That'd be the nicest thing anyone's ever done for me."
"Totally. I have to warn you though. My Mom is super nice."
"That's a bad thing?"
"It gets nauseating, trust me."
"I think I can handle it."
"Good, I'll call her right now and then you can come to check out the place, just in case it makes you change your mind."
"Thank you so much. The chance of me changing my mind is miniscule, trust me." My smile was now as big as it ever had been in my entire life. This was going to be amazing.