So Much More

"And you will always be perfect, you'll always be beautiful..."

She was too young to go. She was just a kid. And she was the best friend of a person who literally couldn't live without her.

Julianne Mitchell couldn't live without her best friend. So when she finds out that her death wasn't an accident, she travels to places that reminded her the most of her best friend, including the place that she died: In the mountains of Aspen.

And when she returned home to California, she knew what she had to do to see Amelia again.

Julianne finds remininsce of her best friend everywhere she travelled and found it easier for her to figure out what was going to do. But on the way, she discover things that were completely new to her and find that it may not be her time.

But will she ever forgive herself for what she did?

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2. Chapter 1.

Chapter One.

 

The ground was cool and damp below my bare knees. I stared at the weathered stone in front of my, barely able to make out her name anymore.

 

It’s only been two years.

 

But, in my mind, it felt like an eternity. My best friend was gone, never to come back and give me her bright smile, ever again. My heart still ached for her every day, wishing she would just appear at my bedroom window and yell “Surprise!” But as the days passed by, I knew that it would never happen. She would never come back. Never…

 

I completely shut down after she was flown back to the states and we had her funeral. The ceremony was beautiful, full of bright pink and blue flowers, her favorite colors. A huge picture of her was surrounded by these flowers next to her newly polished wooden casket, her face peering from under it, a pink rose laid across her chest, her hands crisscrossed over the long, green stem. She had makeup brushed on her too pale eyelids, pink lip gloss on her lips, and a flowing pink gown on, looking as beautiful as she did wearing it alive. People filled the church, the line of people paying their respects actually expanded from the building to a few blocks over. There were solemn faces and many tears, most of them coming from her mother and I.

 

But looking at the grave now, I was thinking about how much of a waste that was. The flower in there with her was probably now turned to dust, along with her lifeless corpse. How could they leave her rotting in the ground like that? How could they leave her to the maggots?!

 

Angry tears filled my eyes and I got up, feeling myself break down, again. I placed the pink roses on the side of her grave, backing away from it slowly, as to not disturb her body. And then…

 

I ran.

 

I ran as fast as I could to the gates of the cemetery. Amelia wasn’t with me anymore and I just felt lost. Confused. Alone. When I got to the gates, I quickly unlocked the car door, and just sat there and cried. For a full half hour, I sat there and cried, feeling my heart burn for Amelia’s presence and her warm embrace. The smell of her flowery fragrance and a look into her bright, grey eyes. Thinking about her just made my cry harder.

 

After a few more minutes, I composed myself enough to drive the fifteen minute ride to my house. My music droned on in the background, but I couldn’t pay attention to it. I was too busy thinking about the days me and her shared when we were younger. How we would always play dress-up in her mom’s clothes and ended up getting in big trouble over it. We had to sit in opposite corners for five minutes, and even that little period of separation made me sad and panicked as a kid.

 

But two years… two years brought me nothing but depression and mere insanity. She was the closest thing that I had to normal in my life and she had to leave so early.

 

Pulling into the driveway, I saw my mom’s car parked there. Looking at the time, I frowned, shocked by how late it was. I was at Amelia’s grave for over two hours, doing nothing but sulking and crying. I got out of the car and scurried up the driveway. When I opened the door, the smell of chocolate chips filled my nostrils. I walked slowly to the kitchen, listening to my mom sing to Billy Joel’s song, Vienna. “…You’ve got so much to do, but only so many hours in a day,” she sang. I walked in the door, watching her twirl around while putting a cookie sheet in the oven. Even with my previous state, I had to smile at the sight in front of me. It was so hard to find a time to see my mother happy. Ever since my parents’ bitter divorce, she had to deal with her depression and mine. I felt selfish knowing that she was hurting and she had to deal with me too.

 

“What are you so giddy about?” I asked her, walking towards the refrigerator, craving a green apple soda. It’s been an addiction for me since they popped into the stores. The sour liquid slid willingly down my throat and it calmed my quickly beating heart. My mother smiled shyly at me and wiped her hands on a towel. I leaned against the fridge, waiting on her response.

 

“I have a date tonight…” She trailed of, trying to busy her hands. I smiled and grabbed her into a bear hug.

 

“I’m so happy for you!” I told her, trying to contain my squealing voice. I really was happy for her, but I felt a little pang of jealousy, too. I’ve never been on a date. I’ve never even had a boyfriend, for Pete’s sake! But, I wasn’t going to be selfish. “So, who is the lucky man?” My mother hesitated and I felt something bad coming on. “Who. Is. It?” I spelled out, staring into her moist brown eyes.

 

“Your father.” She replied after taking a deep breath. I backed away from her, my arms falling to my side.

 

“Do you mean that same father that sucked you dry two years ago and then left you? The one who completely abandoned us for two years with no contact? The one who forced me to not talk to my best friend who DIED?!” I couldn’t hold back the fury in my voice. How could she do that to me? How could she do that to herself?

 

“You can’t blame him for Amelia’s death, Julianne!” I stared at her incredulously.

 

“But I do. I blame him for everything wrong in my life,” I told her in a shaky voice. Maybe I was overreacting, but my anger was too great to rationalize this right now. I turned on my heals and stumped to my room, ignoring her calls from the kitchen. I pulled my drawer out a little too hard and searched through the miscellaneous clothes, but eventually found the thing that I was looking for. A pink journal with a bejeweled blue “A” on it. This was Amelia’s diary. Her parents gave me the rights to it a few months after her death, saying that I deserved to know her thoughts. I never had the heart to read it before now, but I felt like I could do my friend justice if I did. I squeezed it into my purse before walking to the first level of my house.

 

“Where are you going?” My mother called as I opened the door.

 

“To Hell!” I called back towards her, slamming the door behind me. I was really going to a small bookstore downtown, a place that my mom hated. She said it was too dark and dirty looking. But I loved it. It always held the coolest, undiscovered books, and smelled like freshly brewed coffee and strawberry pastries. Amelia and our other friend, Jayden, always came here with me and I felt an aching in my heart for both of them. Jayden left town a few years before Amelia died. He only came back for her funeral and we didn’t even talk. I didn’t even see him. His parents said that he had to leave, that it was too emotional for him. I understood how he felt, but I wish that I could have comforted him. We all grew up together and he had lost a best friend, too.

 

I pulled into the tiny parking lot in front of the squished building. It was stuck between a law firm and an old orphanage. I walked into it, enjoying the rush of cool air and its familiar smell. “Julianne!” The guy behind the counter greeted. His name was Connor and he became a new friend of mine after coming her every day for a month. I gave him a smile and walked over to him. “Will it be your usual?” I nodded and he began making me a dark roasted cappuccino with a mountain of whipped cream. He also pulled me out a warm strawberry pastry from the counter.

 

“Thanks, Connor.” I told him, handing him the cash, placeda tip in the jar next to the register, and found myself in the same booth that I usually occupied. I stared at Amelia’s diary, my heart sinking. I didn’t want to feel like I was snooping in her life, but then again, I wanted to know everything that she didn’t tell me. I quickly picked it up and turned to the first page. On the first page was a picture of me, Amelia, and Jayden when we were at a lake at her parent’s cabin in Tennessee in seventh grade. That was the year when Jayden left, but it was one of the best years of my life. That was the best day of my life. Jayden threw both of us off the pier and we splashed him with the freezing liquid. I smiled at the memory, remembering Jayden’s shrieks.

 

“She always loved that picture.” I looked up at the sound of the deep voice coming from the booth in front of me. A guy, a really cute guy, was sitting in front of me, a small, sad smile on his face. He looked up at me with honey colored eyes and his dark hair fell in his face. And then, I knew.

 

“Jayden,” I whispered. He grinned at the sound of his name. “Jayden!” I said a little louder, reaching for him over the table. He took me in his strong arms. When did he get so cute? I mean, he always had that boyish thing to him, but now, he was a manly cute. And he smelt good. Like a spicy smell.

 

“Hey, J-Bear.” He whispered into my hair, sending small shivers down my back. I pulled away from him, grinning.

 

“What are you doing here?” I asked him, my voice shaky with emotion. Today was just a rollercoaster of it.

 

“I felt homesick. I haven’t seen you in five years…” he trailed off, looking outside of the window. “You’ve grown beautifully, J-Bear.” I felt a warm blush creep over my face.

 

“So have you,” I choked out, taking a sip of my coffee. I stared down at my hands, trying to hide my red cheeks.

 

“How have you been since… Amelia?” I sighed, shrugging.

 

“Sometimes, I can’t help but feel like it was my fault.” I finally looked up at my friend. He looked at me curiously. “I pushed her away and she…” I broke of my sentence, scrunching my eyebrows and feeling a tear slid, wiped it away quickly. I felt a warm hand cover my own.

 

“It is not your fault,” he said authoritatively, squeezing my hand. “What happened to her was an accident.”

 

Was it?

 

I had a hard time believing it. She had lost her grandmother, the only other person she was really close to. And when her grandmother died, I cut off all contact with her because I felt too over taken with my parents’ divorce. She didn’t have anyone to talk to and I knew that she had suicidal thoughts. I knew it and I left her behind.

 

“What makes you believe that it was an accident?” I asked Jayden, staring into his eyes. “She was suicidal. She told me. I didn’t take it seriously, though. I couldn’t believe that someone so fun and beautiful could think like that. She was my best friend, Jayden. You were my best friend. We were all supposed to stick together and it all just fell apart.” I wiped my free hand over my face and sighed.

 

“She wouldn’t want you thinking like this.” It was funny how those six words could turn my stomach because I knew that he was right. Jayden was always right. It was just who he was. I gave him a small smile.

 

“You’re right.”

 

“Aren’t I always?” He shot me a smirk and I rolled my eyes at him. “I think that we should get off such a sad topic.” I nodded in agreement. “When did you dye your hair so bright?” He asked me, reaching over and swirling a piece of my bright red hair between his fingers. This small gesture made my heart leap in my chest.

 

“A year ago,” I half-whispered, my heart still palpitating in my chest. Since when did this happen? I’ve always had a small crush on my best friend, but nothing too serious. He was a cutie; I could admit that. But now, seeing him five years later, it felt like my heart was mending a little. I had one of my best friends back and it felt great.

 

“I always liked your brown hair,” he told me, dropping his hand. He looked into my eyes and snickered a little. “Remember the time Amelia slammed her locker and your hair got caught in it? You freaked out, screaming that it was going to rip out or something. That was one of the funniest days of my life.” I growled at him, but soon joined him in laughing.

 

“You’re an idiot,” I sighed. Looking back at it now, it was hilarious. It hurt like hell, no doubt about it, but it was funny. “How was Raleigh?” I asked him, taking a bite of my pastry. Jayden broke a piece off and I slapped at his hand, missing it. He shrugged.

 

“It didn’t have you.” He flushed slightly. “And Amelia,” he rushed out, stuffing the food in his mouth. My eyebrows furrowed at him. “It wasn’t fun. Dad made me make friends, but it didn’t feel right. As always, girls crawled all over me…” I snorted. He glared at me.

 

“Sorry,” I mumbled at him. He rolled his eyes. My phone vibrated in my pocket. I picked it up and frowned. “Yes mother?”

 

“Where are you? It’s eight thirty!” I scoffed at her audacity.

 

“I’m eighteen years-old mother. The curfew law doesn’t even apply to me anymore.”

 

“It does if you live in my house!” My mother’s voice was tense and strained. “I need to talk to you, anyways,” she informed me.

 

“I don’t want to talk about it,” I told her. I felt Jayden’s hand take mine again and he gave me a sheepish smile.

 

“Home. Now,” she growled. I sighed.

 

“Okay, Mom. I’ll be right there.” I hung up the phone and stood, Jayden following my lead.

 

“Mom problems?” I shrugged and handed him the rest of my food. He took it willingly and stuffed it in his mouth.

 

“Don’t be a pig,” I told him. His shoulders shook from a soft laugh. He opened up his arms for me. I hugged him willingly, loving the feel of his warmth. I took in his smell, trying to engrave it into my mind. I felt his lips graze my forehead.

 

“Everything will be alright,” he told me, releasing me. I smiled at him quickly before gathering my things. He gave me a piece of paper. “Call me whenever you need to talk. My phone’s open twenty-four/seven.” I nodded and walked past him, mumbling my thanks. “I’ll see you soon, J-Bear.”

 

“Bye, Jayden.” And that’s when I felt my heart jump. The sight in front of me, a beautiful masterpiece. Jayden. He was back and he was still my best friend. And I missed him. Too much.

 

Way too much.

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