The cold December air blows across the roof of my house, sending a chill down my spines. It really is cold up here without Michael. The whole world is colder without Michael. What am I going to do without him? This Christmas I am alone. Michael is deployed in the Middle East, and my family went to my Aunt's house.
I look up at the crescent moon that illuminates the night sky. Clouds surround it but still allow it's light to shine down. Michael loved the moon and stars. He never got to see them when he lived in Philadelphia. Oh how i miss looking up at the stars in the middle of a field with him.
I sigh and look back down. I press play on the CD player next to me. Michael's voice comes across the CD player.
"I know you're going to miss me," His voice says. I have listened to this a thousand times since Michael left in June, right after senior year. He made it to cheer me up when I was sad and missing him. "but I don't want you to mope around, like you are probably doing right now. I want you to stand up, count to ten and start to dance, just like we would at school dances except without my dorky-ass messing up the steps. I love you Renee, I can't wait until I get home and we can get married, just like I promised when I gave you that ring." As his voice ended, a list of songs that reminded him of us started playing, the first one being Never Gonna Be Alone by Nickleback. I smile to myself and then reach beside me and grab the bottle of oxycotin i brought up with me. I sigh and open the lid. I dump half of the half-empty bottle in my mouth and set the bottle down. I pickup a bottle of vodka from my parents liquor cabinet and wash the pills down, drinking far more than i need to to wash the pills down my throat.
"Umm, Hi!" A voice calls from the ground. I look over the side of my house to see one of the people who moved in next door. He is in highschool and the only child. His parents work from home so I barely see them. I see him everymorning on y way to college walking to school. He seems pretty quiet and innocent. "Mind if i come up? No one should spend Christmas eve alone."
"Whatever," I say, not caring but not trying to be rude as my last act alive. He shows a half-smile and climbs up the ladder on the side of my house we used to for putting up our Christmas lights. He climbs on top of the roof and sits down next me. He looks at the bottle of pills and then the bottle of vodka in my hand. His half-smile goes away and his happy demeanor turns serious.
"It can't be that bad can it?" the boy asks. His voice was sincere and kind, reminding me of Michael's. I laughed slightly and looked down.
"You ever been alone," I began, trying to explain my 'story' to the kid as briefly as I could. "Then found the best person ever? You two get along and fall in love and you think nothing can ever pull you apart and then be ripped apart again? It hurts. Even if they say they still love you and that they won't be gone long, they aren't here to help you when you need it."
"Where did he go?" The boy asks innocently.
"He joined the Army," i say, feeling a tear roll down my face. "Right now he's deployed in the Middle East." I begin to feel even more tears swell and roll down my cheeks. I wipe my face and look back up at the moon. The clouds begin to slowly drift infront of it, making the night colder. I shiver. I look at him to see him unaffected by the sudden temperature, despite him being in only a sweatshirt and jeans.
"You said he still loves you," The boy says, "So you didn't break up right?" I nod my head yes and look back down. "Then you aren't alone. He may not be here but he's here in spirit. He is still thinking of you and hoping you're here when he comes home. You don't want to to disappoint him do you?" I laughed again, this time overtaken. I could feel the pills and alcohol working, quickly. I layed on my back and continued laughing. Snow begins falling from th clouds, landing on my face. Michael loves the snow...
"If he really loved me, then he wouldn't have joined the Army. Why would he leave and go so far away if he loved me? He only lied to get in my pants or maybe he finally realized that I'm broken." I feel myself becoming lightheaded and dizzy. Lots of saliva begin to flood my mouth and i feel myself start to choke on it. Here i go...
The boy now looks over me, his eyes shining slightly gold, even in the absence of light on this small back road, void of any streetlights. The winds shift, whipping the snow around him and I.
"Do you love Michael?" The boy asks, the softness and kindness from his voice suddenly gone. His short, light brown hair was starting to float around his head, almost weightless. I giggled. "Do you love Michael?" He repeats.
"Of course I do." I say, giggling again. "I would do anything for him, but -" I was cut off by the winds picking up incredibly fast, blowing the snow sideways. I close my eyes and feel myself start to drift away.
I feel myself getting colder.
The sound of the wind begins to dull in my ears.
"Michael..." I whisper with my last breath.
I hear a large bell toll.
The world explodes in light.
I open my eyes and see the ceiling of my bedroom.
I sit up and look around: no one in my room. I notice i am clutching something in my hand. I open my hand and find a hand written note. It reads:
You whipsered MIchael's name just as you passed out. You love him, and he loves you. Maybe he left to protect you from all the evil back there. He know's you're strong enough to survive here and so do I. If you weren't you would have died. I helped you puke it all up. Drink plenty of water and get some rest. There was an envelope in the bushes by your front door, I think it might have fallen out of your mailbox. It's from Michael. Tomorrow, call the Church of Saint Luke Faith's Rescue Center and ask for Sarah, she'll help you or go their Christmas day service.
-The boy next door
P.S.- Merry Christmas!!
I took the note and placed it on my dresser. Sitting on the center of my desk was a yellow freight envelope from Michael. I picked it up and vigorously ripped it open and dumped it contents out. Inside was a CD and a picture of Michael in his ACU's posing infront of a weird tree covered in Christmas decorations. I grabbed my CD player and put in the new CD. I pressed play and waited for it to start, feeling tears roll down my face, but this time, tears of joy.
"I love you Renee. Only eleven more months left here. It may seem like a lot but it's nothing compared to how long we're going to be togethor. I think about you everyday.Merry Christmas and happy New Year. I love you." His voice says and the music begins, the first song that plays is Who You love by John Mayer and Katy Perry. I cry and smile to myself, happy to hear Michael's voice and know he's thinking of me. I drift off to sleep, thinking of the future I will have with him. Just as i fall asleep, an image flashes in my head, most likely form when i was passed out, The boy next door, looking down at me with the light of the moon shining brightly behind him...
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