To Write Love on Her arms

Aspen is a girl who has the world at her feet. In school she's a cheer leader, hangs out with all the popular girls and always gets lucky enough to date the hottest boys in school. As for Dakota hipster wallflower he doesn't have many friends and doesn't go out that much and didn't have any chance at getting with one of the girls hottest girls in school...or so he thought. It all changed for both Aspen and Dakota when they went out on a date on Valentines Day and they both fall in love with each other.

Aspen thought she'd live happily ever after with Dakota and as we all know all good things come to an end. For Aspen, an abrupt out of the blue horrifying end. Dakota went missing, and then she lost herself. Aspen became depressed and started self harming. There was one problem...Aspen knew who out of anyone that would know where her love had gone off missing to. To bad they both hate each other.

Will Aspen ever find out what happened to Dakota and will she ever love again?


10. Cold Coffee

              I rushed down the street but not back to my house. I ran to a place I knew far to well. It's the old 50's diner my mom used to work at. She always used to bring me on Sunday's. I'd sit at the bar with the old men drinking their coffee talking about the war. My mom started bringing me there when I was four, and by the time I was six, I was a favorite all the waiters and waitresses knew me and gave me extra cherries on my sundaes. Even the old war veterans grew a liking to me. After my mom died, I stopped going. Bernice, one of my moms close friends would come over and drop off pies. I never ate them. She used to do it every every Sunday. Then it was every other Sunday. Then once a month. On holidays. And then on my 15th birthday she baked me a cake and left me a note.







                              I know how hard it is to loose a mom. You can never get her back. But your mother wouldn't want you to be upset. It's been a year. You're always welcome here at the diner. I hope to see you soon.



               ~Bernie x




                                I guess today was the day. 15 minuets later I'm at the front doors to the old 50's diner. I force my hand on the handle and open the door. It smells all too familiar. Nothing has changed... I took off my coat an held it in my arms and took my normal seat at the bar. I sat there my hands on my thighs. I looked around for Bernice. I seen her, talking to a family. She didn't notice least I don't think. If no one was going to take my order I might as well listen in to their conversation.


                                 "So how's Dakota doing?" Bernice asks. I pretend to act like I didn't recognize the name. I look around to see old pictures that hang up on the wall. The ones that have been here since I could remember like the painting of a girl eating ice cream, a black and white picture of the place when it first opened where Mr and Mrs Salvator stood in front of this place which is not nearly as beautiful as it used to look back in the early 1930's. There wasn't the huge factory buildings cast behind it, but instead it was filled with beautiful tall palm trees.

                                 "He's alright...still in coma...hanging in there," the woman says taking a sip of her coffee.


                                  "I'll have to visit him," Bernice says. "What hospital is he in?"



                                 "Temple Hospital," the woman says. How could I have not known? He's in coma? How? Why? Who did this to him? I run out of the diner and take out my phone and dial in the cab service. How did he get there? Why is he there? How long has he been there? I feel tears stain my cheeks.


                                  "Hello!" someone screams into the phone. I was to busy crying that I didn't realize that someone was on the other line.


                                   "Temple Hospital," I say, "I need to go to Temple Hospital ."


                                    "Okay, where are you now?" the man asks.


                                    "Pat's Diner," I say.


                                    "I'll be there in ten minuets." He hangs up the phone and I slip mine into my back pocket and cover my face with my hands. I weep into them feeling my body shake. My hands are the only thing that can comfort me right now. I wait outside the telephone booth in front of Pat's. I leaned against the glass walls that surround me in a cage. I look at the moving California streets busy cars racing to work, doctors appoints, school, meetings, hospitals, and then there's me. A lost girl standing in place, not doing anything but waiting for the busy world to stop and ask what's wrong. I'm waiting for something to pull me out of the deep end and show me what feelings are and what life is and why I should want to stick around to enjoy it. I suddenly hear a knock on the glass. It was Bernice, a cigarette hanging from her dry lips. I step out the booth.


                                   "It's been a long time," she says taking a lighter out from the front pocket of her apron. She lights her cigarette and I couldn't help but notice how well she's aged in the last five years. Crows feet dug deep into the outer corners of her pale blue eyes. Her hair was still brown though, but I could see her grays starting to come in from her roots.


                                    "Yeah, five years," I say wiping my face from tears. She frowns and takes a long drag from her cigarette.


                                    "You didn't even visit for more then five minuets, why are you in such a rush to leave?" She asks blowing toxic smoke from her mouth.


                                     "Why haven't you let me know something was wrong with Dakota?!" I say raising my voice. I knew she knew. She had obviously been talking with their family, and I know for a fact she knew Dakota and I'm positive she knew him and I were dating and she hid it from me.



                                     "You heard us talking," she says sadly.


                                     "Obviously! Bernie..."I say pulling her towards me by the collar of her shirt. "I knew you knew about us...why didn't you tell me anything write me a letter or something?" I say crying knowing I sound and look completely insane to bystanders.


                                       "You're going to see him now aren't you?" She says.


                                       "Of course I am. I love him Bernice, you knew I did and you didn't even have to see me to know. How could you not have told me?" I say in a rage.


                                        "He's not coming back Aspen that's why. He's never going to be able to remember you again...he's not here anymore." She says tears swelling her blue eyes threatening to cascade over her wrinkled face. I let her go and stare at her my eyes wide and shocked. He can't be gone not forever.


                                         "What do you mean he's not here anymore?" I ask glaring my eyes at her.


                                         "He tried to commit suicide Aspen...he overdosed on pain killers," she says. "He's been in coma for four months now." The world falls on my shoulders and I fall beneath its size. I fall to my knees on the hard pavement and wail my eyes out almost as hard as I should've cried when my mom died.





                                      I walked in the front door of my home. I was waiting to be greeted by the smell of cookies baking in the oven but the sweet smell didn't fill my nostrils that afternoon. There was no fifties swing music playing which there usually was. It felt like I was stepping foot on Mars. I dropped my back pack by the front door and walked into the kitchen looking for my mom baking. Instead I seen my father sitting at the table his head down and passed out with an empty glass and empty Rum bottle. His head was laying on a picture of her that was stained with what I assumed to be either his drool or tears.


                                    I starred at him contently, unsure if I should wake him up. I didn't. I looked in the house for my mom, I called her name and received no reply. Her clothes weren't thrown on the bathroom floor and her black apron and white collared shirt with black slacks were still laid out neatly on the bed. That's when I panicked. I called her job to see if she was there and her manager Tabitha said she wasn't. I rushed down stairs into the kitchen and shook my dad.


                                     "Daddy, where is mom, did she go visit Grandma or something?" I asked. He lifted his head his glasses crooked on his face. I saw myself in the reflection of his glasses a scared little twelve year old looking for her mommy. How pathetic I remember thinking. I pulled myself together.


                                      "Dad, where is she?" I asked again this time more assertive.


                                       "She's not here anymore sweet heart..." he said with instant tears.


                                       "Well what do you mean by that?" I asked.


                                      "She passed away today." That moment on from my life I was numb to everything. When he told me I didn't even cry, I just crumbled slowly until I was lying right on top of the dirt. At the wake I said nothing, while everyone else cried and said nice things about my mom I had no emotion towards it. When the priest asked if I wanted to shovel dirt on her grave I rejected it and everyone in my family gasped. I became a mute for the rest of sixth grade and all through seventh grade but when I turned 14 in eighth grade I started to have boyfriends who I didn't care about. I had them just to have them, just so I could say I had one and everyone in school could be jealous. 9th grade hit and I had a posse. All the pretty girls in my grade wanted to be with me all the time and all the boys in my grade and higher grades. I was the most wanted girl in school, cheerleader and just what some people envied, hated, and wanted to be like I was that girl. All the way up until I met Dakota. He changed my life, he was the first boyfriend I had that I cared about and then he was ripped from my arms...just like my mom. I had no warning when I came home... they were just gone from my life for ever.



                                 "Why would he do that?" I ask feeling weak. I look up at Bernice feeling like a lost puppy pleading for it's mommy. Bernice walks over to me and places a hand on my shoulder...


                                 "When it's time for you to know, you'll find out," she says her eyes kind but something left on her lips that she refuses to tell. I stand up. I look around me and feel my stomach flip inside of me. Everything is moving so fast all at once and it's just all so confusing and so unbearable. I hear a car horn beep behind me. I turn around to see a yellow taxi.


                                 "Did you just call?" he man asks as he lowers his window.


                                  "Yeah," I say feeling my voice crack.


                                   "Temple Hospital right ?" I shake my head yes and start heading over to the taxi.


                                  "Aspen, you can't go!" Bernice shouts from behind me. I pivot on my left foot to stare at her as if she had five heads.


                                  "And why is that?" I spit back.


                                  "Because..." she stammers blows smoke out of her mouth and stomps out her cigarette. "His parents don't want him seeing you."


                                  "What is it that you're not telling me Bernie?" I yell. "Stop playing these mind games with me please!" I say slapping my hands down on my sides in frustration. I look at her and she starts walking towards me.


                                   "You're not allowed to see him," she says again this time more harshly. "His parents think that you're the reason he tried committing suicide," she says swallowing hard. I cock my head in confusion I didn't do anything to him that night, so why would he try to kill himself?


                                    "I didn't even do anything to him though!" I shout turning around walking towards the taxi. Bernice chases after me placing a hand on my shoulder turning me around to face her. 


                                     "The doctors won't let you in," Bernice says. I turn back around and open the back door to the taxi. 


                                      "I'll find a way past them." I lie, knowing I won't be able to do so. She shakes her head and tells me to move over in the backseat. 


                                       "Hey what are you-"


                                       "Look here's one hundred bucks, just shut up and stop complaining and take us to Temple Hospital." Bernice says fishing a hundred dollar bill out of the front pocket of her apron. I look up at the peeling car ceiling. I cry silently. I don't say anything on the way to the hospital and the ride felt like forever. The driver didn't say one thing and once we got out the car he sped off. 


                                        "So what's out plan?" I ask Bernice as I follow her into the hospital. 


                                        "All's I need for you to do is to just nod your head and agree to everything that I say and make up okay?" she says. I nod my head, already going along with the self explanatory plan that she laid out in front of me. We walked into the trauma wing, which was where I guess people who have been in coma for months stay. Bernice trudged up to the front desk. 


                                        "Hi how may I help you today?" the woman says sweetly. This wing was so fake. I looked behind the woman and listened to people scream and cry while there was painting on the walls of 'patients' smiling and vases of blue hydrangea scattered around the room.


                                         "Visiting," Bernice says.


                                          "Which patient are you guys visiting today?" She asks.


                                           "Dakota Flemmings," Bernice says. "I'm his grandmother and this is his cousin Venessa." Bernice says lying better than a mobster who's put on the spot by the police. The woman at the front desk checks the list and then presses a button. Bernice turns around and walks through the double white doors leading to the rest of the wing where patients roam the halls and nurses rush back and fourth in their dollar store and thrift store scrubs. Bernice leads the way, and we go into room 513. 


                                            That's when I seen him. Beautiful and gone from the world. I'd do anything right now to be in his shoes, taking a break from the awful world we live in. I tried to stifle my tears but they instantly rolled off my cheeks. I rushed over to his hospital bed and noticed all the wires and needles sticking out his veins hooked up to all these different machines. 


                                              I stare at him, tears dripping from my face. I wish he's just wake up. Come back from vacation and give me answers that I need that only he knows. 


                                              "Dakota...Dakota come back to me please. I need you back. I have to tell you about everything and I want to know why you left me...Dakota...Dakota," I say softly. " I love you and miss you more and more everyday...I wish..I...I wish someone....someone would've told me...earlier. I had no clue," I say choking on my words as they roll off my tongue. Then I listen as someone else enters the room. I turn around to see her...her dark rich eggplant hair just goes past her ears and behind her followed by, yup you guessed it, Tanner. My mouth drops when I see her and when I see Tanner. I didn't even think that Tanner would've ever associated with someone like Dakota. 


                                            "You're not supposed to be near him like that," The girl says. I know who she is...I never liked her and she was a friend of Dakota's and I also had group with her that one time and she pretty much said that she had all the answers that I needed.


                                           "You should shut up," I say turning back towards Dakota. I felt uncomfortable now, like I had no more privacy. I kiss his lips and look at him one last time. I wipe tears away from my face. I was so happy to be seeing him, I've wanted to see him forever I just never imagined that it would ever be like this. Not him laying there silent in a hospital bed. I cover my face in my hands and hear as someone moans. I turn around to look at Tanner who for some reason is shocked. Harper! Yeah that's her name, she starts walking toward me. I look her confused and then she points to Dakota. I turn to face him, his brown eyes open wide and take in the world that lays in front of him again. I feel my face split in half with a broad smile.


                                             "Dakota, I've missed you," I say hugging him tight to me. I feel his heart beat on my chest. Tears trickle down my cheeks onto his hospital gown. His arms remain limp against him. I pull away from him and he has his lips curled into a crooked half smile. 


                                              "I'm sorry, but your face....I just can't seem to place a name to your face. Have we met before?"



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