I knocked on Bella and Mason’s apartment door and the door swung open immediately.
“Lauren!” Bella screamed as she hugged me.
I smiled, “Hey!” I said.
She put her hands on my shoulders and stepped back, after studying my expression for a moment she said, “How are you?”
I attempted to smile again but failed, “Not so well, I just came by to see what was up is all,” I said nonchalantly.
She looked at me and understanding flashed in her eyes, “Oh…well…come in come in. Mason’s in the living room, I have to run to the car to get some groceries I left in there,” she said.
I walked into the living room and found Mason sitting on the couch watching football, “Hey Little Lauren, how are you?” he asked, turning the television off.
I sighed, “Not well, but what’s new with you?”
He leaned in, “Well, Bella and I are going to get a house!” he exclaimed.
“Mason that’s wonderful,” I said with as much enthusiasm as I could muster.
He hugged me, “Thanks, I hope you get to feeling better. He was a good kid,”
A tear went down my cheek; Mason knew how much I loved him.
“Thanks Mason, I…I have to go. Bye, I love you.”
“Love you too Lauren,” he said, worry creasing his forehead as I darted out of their house.
Tears were streaming uncontrollably now. I ran into Bella on the apartment stairs.
“Lauren! You’re leaving already?!” she asked upset.
I nodded and attempted to keep walking but she grabbed me and held my shoulders firmly in place.
“Lauren, be careful. It’s a big world. We love you.”
I nodded again and left.
I didn’t even think to ask where her groceries were.
I got in the car and breathed in deeply as I turned the key in the ignition and made my way to the last place I needed to go before I could leave; Jayson’s grave.
I made it there and sat on a dark wooden bench dedicated to him. It was new and looked nice where it was, I was disgusted that something as tragic as Jayson’s death cause people to build a bench in honour of him. He would have wanted something else.
I took out my last piece of light blue stationary and began writing.
I miss you so much. You left me, why did you do that? Life cannot go on without you. Please come back. Your memory will never leave me but sometimes I close my eyes and I see you hurt and bloody, like at the wreck. I can’t deal with that Jayson, I’m not one to complain but please, please, come back. I love you, oh; I love you more than you will ever know. Why’d you leave? You were too young, much too young. You didn’t deserve this, I didn’t either.
Sometimes I dream about the crash. I see it all so perfectly. Those four days I was in the hospital it’s all I saw, I realize that now. I could have stopped it; I had a bad feeling after all. It’s all my fault, please forgive me? Your blonde hair and tan arms. The way you smiled and how when you kissed me your mouth was always a little crooked, I’ll never forget things like that. Remember that time when we were younger and we were at that party? Do you remember that one night when we made the mistake that almost cost us our lives? Somehow we made it through high school never having sex again, but that one time sure scared me. I’m glad though, glad that my first and only time was with you.
I’ll never love anyone the way I do you. Ever. Rest easy Jayson, I’ll always be here. I wish I could tell you I’ll be strong and go on fulfilling my life dreams, but they don’t matter so much now that you’re not here. I am going away…I am not sure how long I will be gone, but this town has nothing but bad memories. No one understands what I am going through. This town doesn’t want our tainted story in their books. Am I being unfair to our little town? I can see you right now shaking your head and telling me that I need to open my mind some. But the bottom line is that I can’t stay here. I need to start a new life.
It’s a nice day out today, really. I wish you were down here with me, we’d be together I know. But are we still together, even though you’re gone?
There’s a bluebird singing in the tree. It would be pretty except it’s too damn happy. No one can be happy when you’re gone. Jayson, oh Jayson.
I’ll miss you forever darling. My only thing to live for is the realization that someday we will be together again. I’ll leave this town, but I’ll take God with me, I know that’s what you would have wanted.
I’m thinking about selling my car once I get to wherever I’m going. Every time I get in it I have awful flashbacks.
Ever wonder why people think that benches are the best way to remember someone?
Now I am just rambling because this feels like my final goodbye. I didn’t get to go to your funeral. I couldn’t have seen you like that anyways.
Jayson; all my love forever and eternity.
I’ll love you forever,
I slowly folded the letter so that it was immaculately in a crisp white envelope I wrote “Jayson” on it in swirly letters and knelt by his grave.
The dirt was still moist and grass hadn’t grown over it yet. I dug my fingers into the dirt until I had made a tiny hole. I slid the envelope in it and covered it with dirt. I ran my finger along his name and then stood up.
Needless to say, I was crying. Sobbing big heavy tears, I walked slowly back to my car and didn’t look back. This was it; I was leaving everything I had ever known.
I turned onto the interstate heading towards the city.
As I drove down the interstate; not daring to look back for fear of turning around, I listened intently to the silence. It disturbed me. Even when he had been with me; in total silence it didn’t feel like this. This was an empty, eerie kind of silence. The kind you get when you know something’s not right. I turned the radio on and tried to get into the upbeat hip-hop song that I actually used to like. Still, my little green Mustang felt empty. Frustrated, I turned the radio off and took a deep breath to steady myself. I wouldn’t lose it, I wouldn’t cry. But then, I was pulling over and leaning my head against the steering wheel. Sobs came, heavy and loud as I cried. My head was pounding and my nose was running. Still, the tears wouldn’t stop, because, in that moment, I realized why the silence wasn’t welcome: it was missing his heartbeat.