Joanne

Get over it…Some people can’t.

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1. Joanne

Get over it…Some people can’t.

Throughout my life, I heard three simple words. Get over it. Every person I had met, every person I had seen and every person I heard told me. Can one ‘get over it’? Does a man ‘get over it’ when his son is missing out at sea? No. Does a mother ‘get over it’ when she held the first born? No. So why did I had to ‘get over it’? It frustrated me. Everything did since my sister passed away.

She came down with a cold instantly when summer begun. I thought it would be gone in a week. I was wrong. I had rushed her to hospital when her fever reached a ridiculously high. I’d forgotten what she was diagnosed with but apparently, according to the numerous of doctors and nurses, she wasn’t going to live for long.

So, as she would lay in the hospital bed, she’d chuckled about how my head was in the clouds. I was always like that. Why? I hadn’t any clue. I assumed though it was because she was with me. On her final day on Earth, she turned towards me and sighed. “Charlie?”

I grinned; she hadn’t spoken that much on the final week. Mainly, my sister was dreaming. I smiled. “Yeah, Hailey?”

“Can you promise me something? And actually keep it?”

“Sure! What do you want me to promise?”

Hailey faced me, a serious look was painted across her face. “When I go, can you promise me that you won’t cry?”

I blinked. “Cry? Go? Like, when you get better or something?”

She smiled sadly. “Sure…When I get better…”

“Then don’t worry your pretty, little head about it, Hail! I won’t even shed a tear!” I laughed.

I was far off with that answer.

When she had left me, I was completely shattered. My mind was a giant puzzle that was missing many pieces. A majority of them were lost; I was lost. I had nowhere to go and every person told me to ‘get over it’. I had moved away from my old town. Too many memories had rushed passed there. So, I packed my bags and headed east. I had stayed near the sea, in a cramped apartment building.  

I met Joanne there. She was my neighbour in the building, and she was one nosy person. Her long brown hair flopped in front of her face when she poked her head through my door. She smelt of grease and her fingernails were filled with muck; she was a mechanic. Despite her loud, obnoxious attitude towards everything, she was different.

I didn’t like that.

On the sixth day, my eyes were glued to the TV. There a show that made me snap. It was about a woman and how she missed her husband. She was in the exact same position as me, yet she was always grinning. People had told her to ‘get over it’, and she magically did. I’d thought of a brilliant idea. I bolted up, dashing out the door. Joanne, who was sitting next to me, was trailing right behind.

My breaths came out as shallow huffs by the time I reached the bottom stair. My feet glided across like a deer as I pranced onto the sand. The smell of the sea salt swam throughout my senses. The sound of the crashing waves echoed in my ears. I laughed manically when my bare feet touched the cool water. I felt free.

I strolled in the water. I walked deeper and deeper into the welcoming ocean, not bothering with the world. I just wanted to die. If I had died, I would be with my family again. If I had died, no one would care so there was no need to worry.

If I had died, Joanne would be devastated.

When the water had reached to my neck, I had difficulty breathing. My eyes snapped opened and I panicked. I knew people said to stay calm when drowning. But then again, when one had no experience in swimming, it wouldn’t last long. My arms started to flap around frantically, signalling help. Tears had steamed out of my eyes. My eyes grew in horror as I was dunked under water. My heart felt like someone was squeezing it and my stomach had ugly moths bumping inside of me. I was alone.

A pair of sturdy hands had gripped me, pulling me up towards the surface. An inky blackness took over my vision. I passed out on the sand.  

“Hello? Hello? Anyone in there?” Joanne chuckled. I opened my eyes slowly. “There you are! Man, I thought I had lost you for a minute there, mate!” she grinned.

“As did I, Joanne.” I coughed, spitting out the water I had drunk. “Great…”

“Ah, get over it.”

 “WHAT? HOW CAN I GET OVER IT?” I yelled. “HOW CAN I GET OVER THE FACT THAT I LOST MY SISTER? THAT I MOVED? THAT I WANTED TO KILL MYSELF!”

“Oh,” she whispered. “Mate, I’m really sorry. Really. I…I didn’t mean it.”

I fell to my knees and sobbed. I missed her so much. It wasn’t fair! My heart was pounding against my chest, crying in agony with the mixed emotions I bottled up. I had really hoped that the feeling would fly by. “It’s not fair…”

Oddly, Joanne hugged me tightly. “Charlie, listen to me for a moment, yeah?” I nodded. “Now, I’m gonna tell you something that I told my brother.” She smiled warmly. “Life’s a bitch. You just gotta stand up to her, eh?”

I shot her a confused glance. “Really? That’s the advice you give me? To punch someone in the face?”

She laughed, “Oh man, people are funny! Think of it this way. You either hide from her or stand up to her.” She stood. “Now which will it be?”

I sighed, “I’m guessing I have no other choice here?”

“Nope!”

I heaved myself up. The sun was setting and the wind blew my orange hair widely. My eyes darted towards the sky, clouds rolled in from the west. “Do you think my family misses me?”

Joanne stretched, strolling away. “Maybe. But you know what?”

“What?” Despite my condition, I ran after her. “What is it?”

“I bet they would want you to get over it.” She disappeared towards into the apartment building.

I sighed, “The thing is, Joanne….Is that…I don’t think I ever will get over meeting you.”

I never did. 

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