Don’t Make Wishes in Cemeteries Because They Might Come True

Chloe has lost the only person that has truly understood her, her boyfriend Hunter. While everyone in town is obsessing over his death, she's obsessing over the life that they once shared together.

Finding comfort in the cemetery in which Hunter was buried, Chloe finds that she's most comforted just being near him until she makes a wish that she never thought would come true.


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1. Parakeets and Headstones

 

 

I still miss everything about him. People talk about what a tragedy it is that this has happened, how his parents must be writhing in uncontrollable pain from losing a child so young, with such a bright future. Captain of the football team, Hunter Marks was the person that everyone wanted to know. He was incredibly good-looking with his short blonde hair and slate grey eyes. His face looked like someone had hand sculpted it, there wasn’t an angle out of place. But his appearance wasn’t all that was perfect, he was the most gentle person I’d ever known. And as many people wanted to know him, he was mine, and I was his.

So when people talk about how his parents had lost their pride and joy, it infuriated me. Andrew and Sylvia Marks put on a great show for everyone. They cried and spoke fondly of their late son when they needed to but it was all a sham. Their seemingly genuine pain was a mask for how much they didn’t care. They hadn’t cared about Hunter when he was alive, what did it matter now that he was gone?

No one paid any attention to me, his girlfriend of five years. The one who had witnessed the tragedy, the one that held him even after he stopped breathing. His blood was covering me and they had to pull us apart. They said I was in shock and I don’t think I ever snapped out of it. I can still see his face, picture his smile in my head, but the sound of his laugh as faded. I can close my eyes and read his lips as he would say, “I love you,” but I can’t hear his voice anymore. My clothes have been washed and the smell of him has left them. I wish I had one thing. One thing to make it feel like he was still here.

 “I’m surprised you’re in front of a book,” my mother said walking into the kitchen. “Mrs. Andros says you didn’t hand in your history paper… again.”

I lifted my head from the kitchen table. It wasn’t first choice pick for a place to shut my eyes but my bedroom was all the way upstairs…. “She gave us like a day to do it. I don’t know how anyone got it done.”

“Chloe, it’s school. It’s not that hard.”

She sympathized for me but there was a line she had to draw. She was a parent after all. Looking out for me was what she was supposed to do. It didn’t make it any less annoying. “I’ll finish it tonight mom.”

We ate dinner in silence. It was just the two of us and I couldn’t exactly pride her on how delicious it was because it was take out. My dad had been the chef, my mom the muscle, and when my father left her for another woman, well, take out was pretty much all we ate.

“How was school?”

The dreaded question made for conversation starters but rarely went anywhere after “It was okay.”

                “It was okay,” I told her looking down at my lo mein.

                “They’re having a memorial,” she said and I stopped moving. “The school board is putting up a plaque with Hunter’s name on it and naming the football field after him.”

                She would know. She was the principal of my high school – talk about academic pressure. “That’s nice of them.”

                “You don’t have to go if you don’t want to.”

                “Let’s see. I’ll have to sit in another room where people who barely knew him will talk about how great of a person he was and how terrible it was to have lost him at such a young age.”

                “Chloe – “

                “No. Mom, seriously. Can you just stop for a second and look how ridiculous this all is?” I put my fork down. “In the last few months of his life his parents were treating him like shit, his friends abandoned him, and he was accused of taking steroids which everyone knew wasn’t true. How can everyone pretend that never happened?”

                “They don’t want to remember him like that,” she said trying to reason with me. “They want to remember the good times with Hunter, not the bad.”

                I shook my head, my upper lip curled with vexation. “No. They want to feel good about themselves. They could care less about him.” I gritted my teeth and when I slammed my fist down on the table, my mom pushed her chair back. It was the only time I’d ever seen her afraid of anything. “I cared about him no matter what was said. I was by his side.”

                The chair screeched across the linoleum floor as I stood up. I was done eating, done talking about things that were pointless to talk about. She was still going to have the memorial. She would still have people come up and talk about Hunter and all the positive things that they remembered about him. I fled the room like it was on fire without taking my coat.  

                Other than my house and school, there was one place I would visit daily. It sounded pathetic but visiting the cemetery gave me a little peace. If anyone else knew about it, I’m sure they would have said that I needed help – serious help.

                It was dark and chilly and of course I was the only one there. I cursed at myself walking through the blanket of dead leaves wishing that I had brought my jacket. Whatever. It was too late. I could have found Hunter’s headstone in pitch black which the night was pretty close to. There was a street light but it was far off and the moon wasn’t much help either. Ten rows down and three to the left, I found myself in front of where Hunter was buried. After brushing the leaves from the grass, I laid down on the lumpy surface.

                Never in a million years would I imagine that I would be able to lie on Earth that had been dug up a few weeks before for a dead body to be placed in. But when I laid there I didn’t think about a dead body, I just thought of Hunter and for quick seconds at a time, I remembered how he made me feel. He was the only person in the world that could make me laugh when all I wanted to do was break down and cry. As strange as it sounded, I was happy there in the cemetery at night all alone. Even though he wasn’t physically there, I could feel him.

                “They’re such liars Hunter.” I paused thinking. “Joey speaks so highly of you to everyone else, but not once has he said a word to me. It’s like he knows how full of shit he is and he knows that I can see right through him.”

                If someone was walking by the cemetery, they would probably think I’d gone a little wacky, with my talking to myself and everything. Fuck them.

                I closed my eyes. “I hate it here without you. It really, really sucks.”

                We had plans together after high school. We would go to whatever college he got accepted to and I would follow him. It had nothing to do with me wanting to be with him or giving up my dreams for what he wanted. I wasn’t that one dimensional. I just didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life, I just knew that I wanted to be anywhere but here.

                Biting my bottom lip, I reluctantly spoke again. “They’re having a memorial for you. The football field is supposed to be named after you.” I laughed. “I wonder if they’ll do a performance like they did at Principal Gellar’s memorial.”

                I laughed hysterically to myself thinking of this ridiculous dance the faculty made us perform for the community. Hunter and I were in fifth grade. We were almost kicked out of the show for laughing.  It didn’t help they had us dressed up as parakeets, Mr. Gellar’s favorite pet. It really was a disaster.

                And as my laughing turned to sobbing, I rolled over on the grass and beat my fist against the hard earth. “Why did you leave me here,” I shouted. I gripped up a handful of grass and pulled it out. The gorund wasn’t wet before but my tears fell like a river down my face. It had been a while since I cried, like, really cried. I did my best to hold my feelings in the majority of the time. The anger was hard to control but the sadness was easy to mask. I’d been doing it my whole life, putting on a smile and pretending nothing was bothering me. Hunter had been the same way, it was one of the many reasons we started dating.

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