Jay knocks at my door. “Maddy are you almost ready it is time to leave,” he says softly. I do not answer him and a few moments later the door slowly opens. Jay slowly inches his way into my room. “Maddy” he says when he sees that I am still not dressed and sitting on my floor. I look up at him without saying a word. He walks over to me and knees down next to me. I am still looking up at him without making a sound. I am not in a mood to say anything right now. Jay wraps one arm around my almost naked back and arm. His arm seems so warm compared to my body. I am wearing panties and a bra while Jay is dressed in a black suit. His dark brown hair that usually is all over the place seems more organized this morning. “Are you ok?” he whispers. I nod my head and stand up. His arm falls off of my back. As I am walk toward my bed and sit down Jay stands back up. He takes the hanger that is hanging on my closet door. It holds a knee-length black dress and cardigan. He then walks over to me and hands me my dress. “You have to get dressed babe.”
“No I don’t,” I say while I throw the dress next to me on the bed. “I don’t even want to go to this stupid funeral in the first place.”
Jay sits down on my bed next to me on the opposite side as the dress. “Your sister is waiting for you,” he says.
“I don’t care she can go without me. I am not going. I hated the guy why should I go to his funeral?”
Jay looks at me with his beautiful brown eyes. For a few seconds I am completely distracted by his eyes that I did not hear what he just said. He wraps both of his arms around me this time. One of his hand moves up and he starts stroking my long blond hair that I barely brushed today. “It is ok to be upset Maddy,” He whispers.
I pull away from Jay. “I am not upset!” I say as I stand up and pick up the dress. I rip the clothes off the hanger and put them on. I quickly brush my tangled hair. I look for a hair tie in the messy top drawer of my dresser because I already know I will want to put my hair up later.
I can sense that Jay is staring at me. “You know it is ok to cry right?” he asks.
“I don’t need to cry,” I say stubbornly.
“You haven’t cried once. Come on Maddy it is ok to show you’re hurt. Your dad just died for God’s sake!” Jay seems frustrated now.
“Jay, he is not my dad, he is a sperm donor. He abandoned me for his new wife and her stupid son. He hated me and I hate him and we both were ok with that and we both moved on. He has been dead to me for years so it really does not change that much that they are putting him seven feet underground today.” I turn around and face Jay. He looks lost for words. I grab his hand. “Let’s go,” I murmur as I walk out of my room pulling Jay behind me. Where we are halfway down the stairs I can see my sister Maci sitting on the couch, she crying into a tissue. She is wearing black dress pants and a jacket. Her husband Aaron is sitting next to her holding her long black coat. He himself is, like Jay, wearing a black suit. Maci looks at me. She tries to smile but fails miserably.
When you look at us you can clearly see I was the unplanned mistake. She is the successful college educated accountant at some stocks and bonds company where she works 9-5 for five days a week minus the holidays. She is twenty-seven years old and has been married for over five years to Aaron. They live in a small house with their dog Sandy about two hours from here. Then there is me, the eighteen-year old girl ready to graduate high school tomorrow. After my brother Michael passed a few just a few days after his birth my parents had decided that one child was good enough for them. Until Maci was nine and my parents accidentally created more. But this time it was not just one but two kids. Max and I were born less than ten minutes apart, unfortunally for many premature babies boys, the girls are stronger than the boys and Max did not make is past the first five hours.
I make my way closer to Maci and Aaron. I can see the black heels I used to wear to court for mock trial tournaments are already standing by the door. I change my direction and walk towards the door. I quickly slip my feet into the heels. Jay walks over to me with the lint roller and quickly tries to clear my dress from my long blonde hair and a few stray white cat hair that I must have picked up. Maci and Aaron get up from the couch and Aaron helps her put on the coat. We all make our way from the house into Maci’s dark red Toyota Camry. Aaron is in the driver’s seat and Maci is occupying the passenger’s seat next to him. Jay and I sit next to each other in the back seat. He takes my hand into his and were ready for the long one and a half hour drive and an even longer day.
“Are you really going to be ok?” Jay asks. His warm hands are wrapped around mine. I nod yes, but not very convincingly. “Just promise me you’ll go straight to bed. Maddy you’ve had such a long weekend, you dad’s funeral Friday, graduation yesterday, and you put on a pretty good face for the grad parties you insisted we go to today.”
“I’ll be ok. Good night Jay.” I say. It is dark but we’re too close to the city to see many stars. I am standing with my back inches away from my bright yellow Chevy Cobalt. My best friend Sam got the same car yesterday but in bright red and a year newer. I was slightly jealous for a few moments. I worked hard to pay for this car but Sam just got hers handed to her by her parents as a graduation present. But I am over it. I have gotten used to how spoiled the teenagers are in New Limrick. Most parents are filthy rich and buying a car for their teenagers is no big deal. I doubt that Jay’s hummer he got for his sixteenth birthday put a dent in his parent’s bank account. Jay softly kisses me on my lips and wishes me a good night. After another kiss he lets go of my hand and starts making his way back to his house. He is halfway down his driveway when I shout his name. He turns around and stares for a few seconds before he walks back to me. He is waiting for me to say something but I have suddenly lost the ability to speak. Even when Jay has walked all the way back to me I still cannot speak.
“Maddy if you want to stay that is ok with me. My parents won’t mind they know what is going on.” He murmurs while he once again takes my hands. I slowly shake my head while biting my lip. Why can’t I speak? I knew what I was going to say when I shouted his name but I just cannot get myself to say it. Jay pulls me closer, he lets go of my hand and wraps his arms around me. He slowly moves one hand from my shoulder blades to my lower back and back up to my shoulder blades. He keeps repeating this process. He buries the other hand in my hair. I place my head on his shoulder and burry my face in his neck.
He smells really good and for a few seconds I forget where I am or what is going on, but then it all comes back to me and without even realizing it is say it. The three words I have been wanted to say to Jay for over the past year. “I love you.” I already knew he was amazing when he first asked me out on a date about eighteen months ago when I first moved the New Limrick. It was only my second week of school and Jay and I only had one class together, APUSH or Advance Placement Unites States History. I remember that I almost declined but Sam and Emma who I barely knew or liked at the moment encouraged me to take the shot. It was my first date, ever. After that one date is was pretty obvious that Jay wanted me and soon it was obvious I wanted him too and it did not take long before I cracked and asked him to be my boyfriend.
Jay grabs my arms and pulls me slightly away from him so he can see my face. He is smiling. Smiling with his lips that are the perfect size, not too big and not too small. He is smiling with his gorgeous brown eyes that are always happy. He is smiling with the dimples that just make him ten times more attractive than he already is. I might have cracked first by admitting I liked him when I asked him to be my boyfriend, but he cracked first by admitting he loved me five months ago. We have not talked about that day, since it ended pretty awkwardly when my response was “thank you.”
“I love you too,” he whispers before he kisses me. This time it is more passionately. He pushes me up against my car and his hands go from my arms to my face and hair.
After what feels like forever but most likely was just a minute or two I stop kissing Jay and pull my face away from his. “I have to go” I whisper. He nods and lets go of me. He opens my car door for me and kisses my cheek after I get in.
“Drive carefully Maddy” He murmurs and he closes my door. He takes a step back to give me and my car some room. I put the key in the slot turn it and start the engine. Then I pull my seat belt around me and start backing out of his driveway. He gives me a small wave before he turns around and walks back to his house.
When I walk into my house it is empty, like usual. I walk up the stairs and into the bathroom. I quickly change into my pajama shorts and my Captain America shirt and brush my teeth. When I walk past my mother’s office I can see some light coming from under the door. I quickly open the door a bit and let her know that I am home. I then walk to my bedroom. I plug my cell phone into the charges and place it on the night stand, then I quickly slip into bed.
I toss and turn a few times before I put my glasses on my night stand and pull my blanket up to my chin. I close my eyes and try to drift away into dreamland. My body really wants to go to sleep but my mind disagrees. My mind likes to go back to the events of this past weekend, and by this past weekend I mean Friday. My brain is not playing images of my graduation on repeat. Not me walking on the stage, or getting my diploma, or the beach balls that that were thrown, or the endless waiting for all 209 students to graduate. Nope my mind like to endlessly replay images on the dark brown wooden coffin with the white inside. My dad laying in the coffin, only half was open but I knew he was wearing nice dress pants. He was also wearing a shit I had never seen but I liked it, it looked good on him. The shirt was orange with a lion and the Dutch flag on it. I knew he would love to be buried while wearing that. I am not sure if it was because I had not seem him in so long or because he was dead but my dad looked older, way older than what I had expected. Obviously being dead drained the color out of his face and made his face look skinnier, but the wrinkles on his forehead does every 54 year old man have that many? He probably aged this much due to the stress of being married to Krista. Or maybe it was from the stress of not seeing you. I try to push the thought back to the back of my mind, where it came from. That was definitely not it. He was not that stressed about not seeing me, I am sure of that. I toss and turn a few more times while the image of my Garry’s dead body still occupies my mind. I finally give up and site straight up. I put two pillow against the wall and reach for my laptop that is stashed away under my bed. I sit with my back against the pillows and open up my laptop. My lips for a small smile on my face when I see that Alex has emailed me.
To: Maddy Scott [firstname.lastname@example.org]
From: Alex Gravito [Alex_93@yahoo.com]
Date: Saturday June 28, 2014 [22:34]
Subject: How are ya feeling?
Heeey Maddy how was the funeral? I know you weren’t looking forward to it but I hope you did go. I think you would regret it years from now if you didn’t. I know you hate Garry but whether you want to or not he was a big part in making you (sorry for that image) and I know he used to be a big part of your life.
Also CONGRATULATIONS! My favorite pen pal is now a high school graduate! I am so proud of you graduating with highest honors, I can’t believe you! How was graduation? Are you throwing a huge party or due to recent events or you skipping that? I think a party would be a great distraction (don’t give me any of that I am totally not bothered by Garry dying crap!)
Anyway toots don’t wait too long to email me back and remember if you have to call me! (Do you still have my number??) I know international calls cost a shit load but I don’t mind it at all!
See you soon! –Alex
I hit reply but do not start typing yet. There is so much I want to tell Alex but I do not know where to start. Alex is one of the best pen pals in the world and I don’t know what I would do without reading emails like this almost every day. I yawn and tap my fingers on my laptop. It is almost midnight and I should be really be asleep. I yawn again and start typing my reply.
To: Alex Gravito [Alex_93@yahoo.com]
From: Maddy Scott [email@example.com]
Date: Sunday June 29, 2014 [23:58]
How am I feeling? Urghh that’s how I am feeling. I really did not want to go to the funeral at all. Garry and I had not spoken in a year and he told me he was not coming to my graduation to take a stupid dumb trip to D.C. with Krista! Ew! I hate her! I know that trip was her plan! I HATE HER! But anyway I want and it was awkward. Maci cried a ton, and seemed mad that I didn’t. Well I’m sorry I am not crying over a man who abandoned me and then forgot about me! Thank God Jay was there for me. He is so sweet I don’t know what I am going to do when he is in Cali. And he and I haven’t even talked about him going to Cali!
Graduation was actually pretty cool. In between speeches and during our gap toss a few people threw beach balls! Mrs. Summers gave a stupid speech (like usual) but I did it and now finally high school is DONE! Yay??? I am sort of scared. I aced high school pretty much by showing up and winging it. I honestly feel that I did not put that much work into it and I am so terrified that college will be so difficult and I’ll fail and make a complete fool of myself.
And thank you, I still have you number but honestly I am fine! Except OMG I TOLD JAY I LOVE HIM IDK WHERE THAT CAME FROM I JUST BLURTED IT OUT!!!!!! And even worse he liked it and I don’t know how much longer he’ll wait!
I open my eyes but it is still pitch black around me. There is something heavy pushing down on my chest. I tried to put my hand on my chest but get hold of a cat instead. I push Nala away from me. I take my laptop of off my chest and set it down next to me then I struggle out of bed and feel around my night stand for my glasses. I feel them for a second before I accidentally push them onto the ground. I feel around on the ground but can’t find them. I stand back up and stumble out of my room. I make my way through the dark hallway by guiding myself with my hand on the wall.
When I make it back into my room I crawl back into bed. I fix my pillows so they are where they are supposed to be. I see my phone is flashing a little blue light. I lean over and unplug my phone and pick it up from the night stand. Jay send a text message.
Good night beautiful! I love you!
I check the time. It is already 4:35, but at least I can sleep for a few more hours. I put my phone back onto my night stand. I do not have the energy to text him back right now.