I Will See you Again

The only destination for the living is death. Death is the only thing anyone should be afraid of. My name is Eve. I am already dead. But I am still afraid.
Someone came to my grave and told me I had to keep my promise. That I had to figure out the truth about what happened. The person said to me... I will see you again.

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8. Reflecting

Flashback #5: Let's call it betrayal

            There was a knock at my window. The sound brought me to my feet in seconds. I didn't want Mike to wake. I open my window and look out, only to get whacked in the face with a small stone. It clatters onto my floor. I turn to it clutching my face in my hands. It was one of the stones laid out all over the garden. When my mother was still here, she would put flowers in the dirt, but when she left, we didn't really see the point. Within a few weeks, Audrey and I covered the plot of land with the stones.

“Son of a-”

            I rub my head with one hand. My eyes were squinted the knocking brought me to my feet in the middle of the night. I was asleep two or three hours before then. I look back out the window. Below me, stands a far too happy Michael. His seemed to reach his ears when he saw me.

"Are you crazy?" I do my best to whisper.

"Sorry, I just had to see you." with that, I disappeared back into my bedroom. My heart leaped from my chest and did a dance around my room. I fumble around in the dark looking for a robe. It was cold outside, and I only had on shorts and a tank top. Once I tightly wrapped the thick fabric of the robe around my body, I climb out my window to meet Michael.

            In movies, the girl can always get outside gracefully. If not, they’d be caught in the arms of the boy that was meant for them. It was a lie. I stumbled a bit and then fell on my ass. Once out I crossed my arms and looked him in the eyes. Though it was dark, and I could only see the silhouette of his figure, I still managed to read the look in his eyes. A part of me wanted to smile but the more sensible side of me forced my grin down.

"You really shouldn't be here."

            So many thoughts are flowing through causing me an overwhelming sense of dread. I wanted him to stay. I really wanted him to stay. But there was that distanced part of me that wanted to make sure I didn’t screw anything up.

"If you want, I can leave."

            The look on his face said he was serious, but his feet were shifting like all he wanted was to get closer to me. My heart pounded, pumping warm, anxious filled blood through my veins. I didn't feel this way much. I usually got the feeling when watching romantic chick flicks with Audrey. She's a sucker for those. I guess I am too.

            Michael takes a step away. Was it the wrong direction? Or the right one? I open my mouth to say something and stop myself. I was chained down by the already fragile relationship between myself and Jordan. I can't afford to lose a tie that goes back ten years. It's like losing a part of me. But I didn't want him to go. A terrible, horrible, selfish part of me didn't want him to go. I wanted the happiness I felt with him. I knew it was wrong.

"Stay." I whisper.

            The love story plays. Michael turns, and stays. We would have each other, and there would be nothing that could come between us. We'd fall in love, run away together. He would drive us around the world, and I would see so many new places. The wind would change, the air, no longer stale. But this is all just in my head. Michael didn't hear me. He was already too far gone to have heard me ask him to stay. I saw my future walk away from me. Sure we would see each other from time to time. But who’s to say I'm not letting something amazing get away. It felt wrong, like a terrible part of a movie, the part where you scream at the protagonist as they make the biggest mistake ever. You watch it over and over again but it never changes. C'mon Eve. Run to him. Don't let the movie run on repeat. Things don't have to be this way.

            Wait. I start to run... well jog. I can see my breath when I cross the streetlights. How fast did Michael walk? How far? Where is he? I look around, and then there he was. The familiar shape was growing closer, "Wait!" I yell. Michael turns. His eyes showed surprise. And now here I was, running to him in a robe, and barefoot at that.

"What is it, Eve?"

            My knees almost buckled when I heard him say my name. I reach him and jump into his arms. He holds me firmly. I felt his breath on my neck. Calm, comforting... unlike my own. My own breath was erratic, reminding me I was alive. I could hardly catch hold of it, and I couldn't help but hold it once we touched. I didn't want to breathe. As if the force of it would blow this chance away, as if this small home we built from this relationship could come crumbling down. I didn't want to breathe, because I thought if I held my breath, time would stop and this moment could last forever.

"I'm sorry." I say finally letting go of my breath. Jordan is going to hate me. I break from our embrace and hold his hands.

"You've nothing to be sorry for."

             I know.

“Yeah I do.”

             I pull away from Michael to go back home. Still holding my hand, he tries to pull me back; I turn to look at him. We release our hands, and the distance between us increases. Our fingertips can hardly touch. My nose is red, and my feet are freezing. I want to go inside where it is warm, but I don't want to leave. Who leaves such a beautiful boy on the street when all he wants is for you to be with him.

             Michael smiles at me. He retracts his hand from my own and waves. And all of a sudden, leaving didn't seem so bad.

            Sorry Jordan. But what kind of girl would I be if I didn’t like him back.

 

Present Day

"Hey, guys." Ben stands outside the door of the building. His hand clings to the door. Come to think of it, I don't think he's ever left the building. His hand is clinging to it for dear life.

"Yeah." Michael says.

"You see Emily around?"

            I walk away from Michael and toward Ben. I felt Michael grasp my hand, coming to stand next to me. I know she said she’d be a while, but I didn’t think it would be this long. Ben starts walking back inside and I follow. Michael trails close behind.

"She's not down yet?" I question.

             Upon entering, the entire crowd looks. As if sensing something was wrong, the room becomes deadly silent. I let go of Michael's hand and rush to my dorm room. I open the door and see the room is empty. My hands fly to my head. I try to calm myself. No one needs to breathe when they are dead, but I still feel the need to catch my breath. My messages were on the floor. Not where I left them. I pick them up and exit the dorm.

"What is it?" Michael stands just outside the door.

"She's been listening to my messages again."

"That's not good."

            Michael didn’t have to say it. I already knew. Last time Emily listened to my messages, I had to talk her down from jumping the lake, which was hard considering how amused I am with the lake myself. It’s a touchy subject to get into, and an even touchier one to revisit.

"Eve, slow down!" Michael calls. I'm leaving him behind, "Eve stop." I look back at the messages and play them back starting with Audrey's.

"Hey, Eve, it's me. Audrey. You know that though I'm sure."

            Michael pulls the headphones from my ears, "Eve stop."

"What?"

"Don't start freaking out and running off."

"I've got to help her."

"No, you don’t."

"What are you talking about?" I never thought of Michael as this selfish, "She's in trouble, Michael."

"She isn't your responsibility." Michael's voice holds every inch of the frustration he is feeling, "So stop running off. You always do that."

“What’s with you all of a sudden?" I shove him, "Don't you care about Emily at all?"

"I do, but you don't even realize-" he stops short biting his tongue.

"I don't realize what!" I'm just as angry as he is right now.

"You don't realize that every time you run off, you just end up hurting yourself."

            It’s like I’ve awoken something in Michael. Hidden demons or something. It’s pissing me off that he’s got the nerve to bring it up now when he knows Emily is more important.

"What are you even talking about?" I turn from him and start walking away. He catches me by the shoulder.

"You're acting erratically. You aren't yourself. You are shutting everyone out. You’re throwing away what little time we have left again.”

" Again? What are you talking about?"

"Isn't it obvious?" I raise a brow, "I know how you died."

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