The Memories Remain

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Memoir  |  House: Booksie Classic
I wrote a short story about my best friend who took his life back in June 2008 to remember him and the both good and bad times him and I had together.

Submitted: March 25, 2010

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Submitted: March 25, 2010

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I’ll never forget the phone call that morning. It was an unknown number, though I answered it unsure of the caller.
“Hey Rissa, what’s up?” the voice on the other line said.
“I’m fine. Who is this?” I asked in hesitation.
“It’s Eric, Marco’s drummer.”
“Oh, hey, um, how are you?” I finally said with confusion. There was a long pause and I could hear sobbing on the other end.
“I’m sorry” he said behind his breaths. “He’s dead. Mars is gone.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I grew numb and I started to quiver. It felt as if someone took the life out of me before I could even scream for help. I was completely lost for words.
“I need you to come to his house immediately” he demanded.
I quickly hung up the phone and sneaked outside. As I quickly paced myself to his house I started thinking ‘It’s all a joke, Mars and the band are all going to laugh at me and tell me I’m a fool as soon as I get there.’ Though, when I got there instead I saw rescue vehicles. I saw Marco’s mother, his sister Tracy, his brother Benji, and his friends Eric, Todd, and Gordie; all crying. I knew at that very moment my best friend really was gone forever.
Eric ran up to me and hugged me. He took my hand and led me over to a stretcher that held Mars in a body bag. He slowly unzipped it and tears began to flow down my face. I overcame my fear and lifted his arm to see the deep cuts on his wrist that took his life. I began to scream and cry and Marco’s friends pulled me away.
We ended up making our way to his bedroom where just the day before him and I laughed together and listened to our favorite song The Transition by Hawthorne Heights. He left me a letter so that I could take the words and let them control me. He had hoped that they’d help me realize that I was living on purpose, for a purpose; and they did.
* * *
Marco and I had met on a breezy afternoon in March. I was on a walk to release my anger and depression just for the time being. As I was walking with my head hanging I couldn’t help but notice a guy practicing 360° halfpipes and ollies on his skateboard. He caught my attention and I noticed his eyes. They were as blue as the sky. He slowly made his way over to me as if he was afraid to scare me away. He introduced himself and just then we began talking and soon enough I found myself exchanging phone numbers with him.
We began talking over the phone on a daily basis and I would sneak out to go visit him. I finally began to trust him with anything and everything and he was the same with me. It was hard to sit and listen to him tell me his life story. A young man of 15 years old had already witnessed his father be dragged away in the middle of the night by police for the attempt of murder. Every night he would lay in bed worried about where his mother was, what strange man she was drinking with, and whether or not she’d end up bringing him home to make some money by sleeping with him. His sister Tracy was 19 when she ran out on the family and never even had the guts to say goodbye. And, of course, Benji who was as young as 17 was already dealing drugs and every minute of the day was stoned to the point he would wish he was dead, but could never give in to letting it all go.
Marco lived a nightmare and I could feel the stricken pain that he went through as he’d pour out his heart. Everything that he had ever been through would come back to make him relive the horror, the fear that he had kept locked inside for so long would play its role in his mind once more. He would tell me over and over again that he hated being alive and wanted to die. Though he promised me “I swear on the fucking pain of death I’ll always wait for you. I won’t let go.” And when I think hard enough I can still hear him whispering those words to me and I can still feel the warmth of his arms holding me close as he made that promise.
Days, weeks, and months went by and I was falling deeper into depression and it killed him inside to see me as miserable as I was. I began cutting myself and every once in a while I’d catch myself threatening to commit suicide because I was sick of being numb and in deep pain everyday. I’d wake up in the morning and look in the mirror and tell myself that I was no good and I was ugly inside and out. Though, Mars would always tell me I was beautiful, I’d brush it away not caring of what he thought of me. We’d have loose arguments about my self-esteem and it would always turn out to me saying I wanted to give up and die.
“I’m ugly, fat, and stupid! Everyone could care less about me!” I would scream. “I might as well off myself now before anything worse happens to me!”
“And what if things could get better for you?” he said calmly.
“It’s not, my life sucks and that’s all it will ever be. Pointless.”
“Don’t you dare say that! You’re beautiful, funny, smart, and talented to the extreme. I swear one of these days things will be better for you. And whether you deny it or not, I don’t give a shit, everything will be okay.” Tears began to fill up his eyes. He hugged me tightly and cried into my shoulder. I let those words capture me as they quietly filled the room.
After a long moment of silence Mars finally spoke again “I just want to live to see the day that you wake up and see that life really is beautiful.” He took a deep breath and tried to stop crying. “I love you, Rissa. And I just want the best for you in life.”
“There is nothing good for me in this world” I said with an angry tone. “I’m going to die with this screwed up life, nothing will ever change.”
“G*d damn it! Quit saying that!” His eyes were now bloodshot from crying so hard, his voice was full of fury, and his heart was pounding harder than ever before as if it was about to break through his chest. The tears kept pouring down and he buried his face into his hands. “Please, just stop. I can’t take it anymore. It’s killing me to hear you say that. Just change for me.”
I wiped the tears streaming down his soft, pale cheeks. “I’ll try” I whispered.
He smiled “that’s my girl. That’s what I want to hear. It’s all I want for you. I just want you to be happy, sweetheart.”
He picked up his guitar and started strumming the strings. “What song shall I play for you today, Madame?” he smiled at me, his eyes gleaming.
“Well, if you’re really asking me,” I started to think “play our song!”
“Oh, uh, hmmm, okay. I haven’t really gotten that one completely down, but it wouldn’t hurt to try.” He started to chuckle and placed his fingers on the first chord that he could remember. He cleared his throat and began to sing. So here we are, back to the start again. Trying hard to wait ‘til morning. Hey, rise and shine and open up your eyes to give this world some color. Shine on diamond eyes. Separate the space between love and lies. And as days go by, the memories remain. I’ll wait for you. And as days go by, the memories remain. I won’t let go. These days remain the same, pictures fade away. Please don’t ever change. Please don’t change your mind. No matter what they say, I’ll always wait. And as days go by, the memories remain. I’ll wait for you. And as days go by, the memories remain. These days remain the same, pictures fade away. I hope you never fade as you drip through my veins. Shine on, shine on, shine on diamond eyes. And as days go by, the memories remain, I’ll wait for you. And as days go by, I swear I’ll try, I’ll wait for you, until I die, anything for you, to fade.  
He took a deep breath, “that’s the first time I sung that song all the way through without stopping or messing up.” We started laughing hysterically. “I’m proud of myself. What did you think?”
I sat there for a second and frowned a little bit. “I’m wowed!”
“I thought you were about to say I sucked!”
“Ah, no way. You were awesome on the screaming part without any backup. And the guitar riffs could seriously blow someone away. Just as good as Casey Calvert could do by himself on that song.” I paused “didn’t you go to one of their concerts?”
“I sure did, even met Casey face to face. Got his autograph too.” He walked over to his closet and pulled out a box full of pictures and reached in and pulled out a picture with the famous rock star’s autograph.  
“Dude, I’m so jealous, I hate you!” I yelled with laughter.
“Nag, nag, nag. That’s just how life is sometimes.”
“That’s exactly right. Life sucks and then you die.” I grinned.
“Yours doesn’t have to be that way, you know?” He looked deep into my eyes. “It never had to be this way. Somehow it did and it doesn’t have to end like that either.” He started singing, “it’s not too late, it’s never too late!”
We started laughing at each other. And we talked for a couple more hours until I needed to go home before my parents would return. He walked me home and we said our goodbyes. I called him later that night and we talked even longer.
Well a few months went by and we continued to talk everyday and see each other whenever I had the chance. I would go see his band Cry Suicide practice every once in a while on Thursdays. I loved his voice, the screaming, it just sent shivers down my spine. I loved that feeling. Only he could make me feel that way.
It came around to the end of my 8th grade year and I was deeply stressed and freaking out to graduate. Marco, like always would comfort me and tell me he was proud of me either way because the alternative for me was death. He knew, unlike others, that I could be dead, so every breath I took made him smile ecstatically no matter what I was doing. I graduated with his help, love, and support otherwise I would have never been able to do it. 
The beginning of that summer I was home alone for a couple days. So I would give Mars a little visit just so I wouldn’t be alone. The first day, he came over to my house. We hung out and just chilled. We listened to music, watched some movies, and he made me lunch. He sung for me, he knew it would make me smile. He’d do anything to see me smile, only he knew what could.
It was June 11, 2008, now, the best day of my life. I went to his house that day. His mother, for once, wasn’t out on the streets or at a bar. She was home being a mother to her sons whom she loved, but never took the time to show it. Tracy was home just to see her baby brother. I had never seen Marco so happy before in the year and a half that I knew him. We were in his room that day talking for hours on end.
“I dedicate this song to my best friend. The most amazing, beautiful, talented young woman I have ever met in my entire 15 years of my life” he stood up and went over to his stereo and pressed play. A familiar song started to blast through the speakers, though it was turned up loud it didn’t seem to be loud enough for him. He plugged his guitar into the amplifier and began playing and singing along with our song. He played his heart out that day. I could see that he put his entire soul into that song.
It came close to four that afternoon so I told him I had to start heading home. He looked into my eyes. “Larissa Wickline” he said.
“Yes Marco Skyes?” I answered back.
Tears began to fill up his eyes, “I love you”
“I love you too.”
He grabbed me and held me tightly in his arms as if he was afraid to let go.
“Sweetheart, what’s wrong?” I whispered as I wrapped my arms around him.
“I’m so sorry. Please forgive me. I never meant to hurt you” he stuttered.
“What are you talking about? You’ve never hurt me before.”
“Nevermind, I just love you so much” he whispered softly.
“I love you too, but Mars, you gotta tell me what’s wrong.” I begged “I need to know so I can make it better.”
“I’m gonna make it better. I just wanna say that I love you before I do” he cried.
“Are you scared to change?”
“Like hell, Rissa” he took my hand and kissed me on the cheek.
“Why are you so scared?” I asked “Isn’t a new change what you’ve always wanted?”
“Yeah, I’m just scared, that’s all.”
“Please, just tell me what’s wrong?”
“Nothing, I’m just scared” he wiped the tears that ran down his face.
“I’m here for ya, babe. You know that, right?”
“I know.”
“Well, I have to go. God knows when my parents’ll be home.” I sighed.
“I love you, baby doll. Nothing will ever change that” he took a deep breath “I just wanna let you know that you’ll always be in my heart until the day I die. I appreciate your friendship more than anything in the world. You’ve kept me straightened out and at first I hated you for it, but I’m so glad you’d beat the hell outta me at times” he laughed.
“Well, that’s what I’m here for. Your dad’s in jail, your mom’s never home, your sister kinda ditched you and well, Benji, oh geez, well we’ll just leave well enough alone with that boy. The devil knows what’s gotten into him. Somebody’s gotta look out for you and keep sanity in you for as long as they possibly can” I rubbed his back.
“You bet your ass!”
“Well, yeah, you got that right I guess”
His face became shallow. “What would I ever do without you?” he looked into my eyes as if he got lost in them.
“I’d hope nothing” I giggled. I looked over at his alarm clock. “oh crap, it’s 4:45, I gotta get outta here.”
“Alright babe, I’ll let you go.” He gave me a long hug and a kiss on the cheek and once again the tears began to flow. “I don’t wanna let you go. I don’t wanna leave you alone.”
“Dude, seriously, what the hell is wrong with you?” I grew furious.
“Nothing, I’m just being retarded” through the tears he laughed. “Whatever, no big deal, honey.”
“If you say so. Alrighty. Well I gotta get going.” I smiled and rubbed his arm.
He leaned into me and gave me a hug and kissed me on the cheek. “I love you so much. Always remember that, won’t you?”
“Forever, I promise. I love you. Just smile. Everything will be okay” I said “just remember that I love you and I’m always here whenever you need me. Just call me, I swear I won’t give up on you. You’re trying, I’m trying. Everything will be okay someday.”
“Okay, well you gotta go, so go.”
“Alright, alright. I’m gone.” I laughed.
I finally left, little did I know my best friend’s life would be lost that day.
* * *
It’s been over a year since my best friend passed away and sometimes I’ll wake up in the middle of the night after a nightmare and think he’s still alive, but then I remember seeing his cold, breathless body that day. It took his death for me to realize how precious life is and that everyday is a surprise. I’ve been happier just because I know Marco is watching me from above and every time I slip up and go into a depression he cries, I know he is, I can feel it in my heart. I miss him, but it makes me stronger. His diamond eyes will forever remain in my heart. The memories will always remain.


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