The Day You Left


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2. The first time you left

It was in the late summer of 1982, August maybe, when you disappeared. It was a tragedy to the small town of Willsboro that we lived in. The whole town searched for you for over three months, while your parents on the otherhand, still haven’t stopped. Especially your dad, constantly reporting suspicious people to the police, looking in the woods and visiting strangers houses in hopes of finding you. He took it the worst in my opinion. Nobody even saw him for the first three weeks after you had been reported missing. I can still remember the Amber Alert broadcasting on news, on every channel actually. You were eighteen years old, and I still don’t think you were abducted, I think you left on purpose.


I can remember walking through town with you the night before you left. How we went to the carnival and I won you that stuffed monkey you kept looking at every time we passed it. The smell of dewy, old rain and corn dogs are still fresh in my mind, as are the sight of people laughing and carrying on without a doubt in the world. Kids were running around with huge balls of cotton candy stuffed in a white paper cone and adults chasing after them so they didn’t get lost in the crowd of the town. You looked as beautiful as ever. Your dark brown hair was twisted up into some kind of bun and your unevenly trimmed bangs floated across your forehead. You had on your usual makeup, dark black winged eyeliner, long eyelashes, and bronzer to highlight your cheeks. Strangers always starred at you oddly, but I know they starred at you because they were jealous, who wouldn’t be. You had a flawless, pale complexion, your eyes glittered with the color of honey, you had such a slim, petite body and high cheek bones, and not to mention how red your soft lips naturally were. The black skinny jeans you had on were shredded at the knees and worn out at the pockets, your plain white shirt had a small hole in the bottom back of it that wasn’t noticable the least bit, considering the only way I knew it was there was because I accidentally did it the other week with a pencil, and you had on a pair of studded black combat boots you had bought from some road-side vintage store in Colorado when you went to visit your Aunt and cousins the summer before you left.


You always used to talk about how the world was made up of what seemed to be blackholes of towns that people got trapped in. I can remember you saying “This town is full of two types of people. The ones to stupid to leave and the ones too stuck to move.” I’m pretty sure you read that in one of the thousands of books your grandpa kept in his basement, since that’s all you ever wanted to do. You also talked about how you always wanted to leave and go journey off into the unknown, to leave everything and everyone behind. I couldn’t blame you really for craving it so badly. The town was full of snobs and celebrity wanna-be’s whose only gig was at the local park or in the Youth Center. Eveyone in the town is so religious it’s almost unbearable, you practically get shunned away if you think anything differently of the majority of the town. They’ve ran so many new comers out of the town with their harsh words and assertive behavior. One thing I won’t forget as long as I live is the way you would stare at people without even noticing it. It was almost like you could read their minds, you could tell exactly how they felt, whether they were in a complete stage of sorrow masking it with an incredibly fake smile, or they were the happiest they ever could have been, acting sad to get the attention that they seem to crave so badly around here.


The night I walked you home is still clear as day in my mind. We took the long way because you said there were too many people to go our normal route, which I couldn’t disagree with. We ended up on the outskirts of town somehow, and you began talking about leaving and never coming back. You span around with your head tilted back, starring at the black sky lit up by the light of the full moon and the different patterns and constellations of stars. “What all do you think is out there, Charlie?” I heard her whisper to me. I didn’t reply, I knew it was a rhetorical question. She walked over to me and got close enough to me that I could feel her warm, alcohol scented breath against my chest. She said as sure as ever, with the slightest sound of pity in her voice “I want to leave, Charlie. This town isn’t enough for me, I belong out out there with the strange people and the different cultures, and the different creatures that walk among us. With the mortals and the immortals, I want to see everything I can, and I’m not going to waste my life in this useless town in the middle of nowhere Wisconsin. I need to go, Charlie.” “I know, Sam, I know you do.” I muttered as quietly as ever, holding your 90 pound body tight in my arms.


This is why I know you left on your own free will, and I know you weren’t abducted or murdered and stowed away in a safe that got tossed down into a landfill like you see in the movies. It was all you ever wanted to do. I got asked a lot of questions after you disappeared, people thinking I had something to do with it or that I, myself, murdered you. I obviously never could have done that to you. I loved you with every last gasp of air that’s been trapped in my lungs since the day I was born. I wonder about you all the time, but I don’t really worry. I know you’re out there doing what you’ve always wanted, and you’re probably better off out there instead of being trapped in this piece of shit town anyways. This is the 862nd letter I’ve wrote to you since the day you left that you’ll probably never get the chance to read. They all basically say about the same thing, how I loved you and how you were such a beautiful soul, that I’m still yet to meet someone like you, even though it’s been twenty-five years. I’m not married and I don’t have kids, I probably never will considering the only relationship I was ever good at was with you. Who knows, maybe you’ll come back again some day. But until then, I’ll remain here in Willsboro, Wisconsin, looking for my own way out.
-c.w.

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