“I miss you” I cried. I picked the dead flowers off the grave and replaced them we one lily. “I want you to come back to me. I need you” The tears fell uncontrollably. This was the one place I could talk. Really talk. It was my safe place. “I’ve left college Jase. I know it was your dream to own your own restaurant, but I can’t do it for you. I’m not ready yet. It’s all too soon. It should be you there, not me. I’d be living in California with you, but not taking the course that you wanted to do. We would have been so happy” I picked a clump of grass out of the grass and through it back on the floor. The tears continued as I sat staring at his grave.
My phone vibrated in my pocket, making me jump. I pulled my phone out and stared at the text. James. ‘Are you really giving up college?’ it read. I replied back with a quick reply. ‘I got back home this morning…’ I put my phone away again and just sat crying to Jase.
I walked into the house and was bombarded with questions. Lauren attacked me with a hug, almost knocking me off my feet.
“You had the chance to be friends with the Janoskians and you decide to come home?” She shook her head, as if she was disappointed in me. I shrugged, I didn’t care about that. Sure they were nice, I was becoming friends with them but I needed to get away. I just wasn’t ready for any of it. I saw Tyler sat in the living room, he watched me closely. I gave him a tiny wave, not really in the mood to talk to anyone. And when I say talk, I mean sign.
Mom had told me before I came back home that Tyler had moved in, whilst him and Lauren looked for a flat to move into together. They needed to be together apparently because of the pregnancy. I slowly walked up the stairs, a huge frown upon my face. As I reached my room I got into bed and just fell asleep. I was exhausted.
I woke up to mom shaking me awake. She looked a little wide eyed, as if something had shocked her.
“You have some visitors downstairs” She told me. I groaned, pulling the covers over my head.
“Tell them to leave” I signed.
“No can do” Mom replied and just left. What was that supposed to mean? I realised then that I had a really bad headache. I got up and put my dressing gown on, catching a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I looked terrible, my brown hair was ruffed up, I had red, puffy eyes and I’m not even going to start with the smudged make-up everywhere. As I went downstairs I heard faint voices coming from the living room. I waked straight past, heading into the downstairs bathroom. I rummaged through the cabinet looking for some painkillers. When I couldn’t find any, I let out a long sigh.
Mom knocked on the door telling me to hurry up, that it wasn’t fair on my guests. I told her to tell them to leave. I put my earphones in and turned the volume up loud. I wanted to be so alone. Once I scrolled through the song and found the one I was looking for I pressed play. As the lyrics started I opened my mouth and I sang. I didn’t care who was listening, I needed to sing it. Jase needed to know that I was still his.
‘How long will I love you?
As long as stars are above you
and longer, if I can.’ The tears started then, but it wasn’t going to stop me from signing. I probably sounded terrible, but I didn’t care. I was signing to Jase, and I knew he was listening.
‘How long will I need you?
As long as the seasons need to
follow their plan.
How long will I be with you?
As long as the sea is bound to
Wash upon the sand.
How long will I want you?
As long as you want me to
and longer by far.
How long will I hold you?
As long as your father told you,
As long as you can.
How long will I give to you?
As long as I live through you
however long you say.
How long will I love you?
As long as stars are above you
and longer, if I may.’
“I love you so much Jase” I cried. When the song finished I took my earphones out to find that everyone who was in the house had been listening through the door. I could hear my mom crying, and Tyler telling someone, Lauren probably, how beautiful it was. I opened the door to come out of the bathroom to find everyone standing out, staring at me.
“You sang..” I looked to find the voice. Beau. Beau was standing in my house. And when I took a proper look around me, I noticed that Luke and Jai were there too. I signed to Lauren as she understood me.
“He’s the only one who I can talk to” She repeated it to the three Brooks brothers, who didn’t understand.
“Who’s he?” Luke asked. I shook my head at Lauren to not tell them. I didn’t want them to know about Jase. I didn’t want them to have my memories. They were mine to keep. Nobody else’s.
“Paisley, I think they deserve to know. They came all this way, because you left without even saying goodbye to them. They’re your friends and you just left them like that” Lauren shook her head at me, she really was disappointed with me now.
“James couldn’t come as he still plans on staying in college. Daniel stayed to keep him company” Beau told me quietly. Mom was still crying, I knew how much it hurt her seeing me like this. She wanted more than anything for me to be happy. But I just couldn’t be. “Paisley. Let me talk to you, please, okay?” I gave Beau a small nod and motioned for him to follow me and I motioned for Lauren to come too. So she could tell Beau what I wanted to say. He sat down on the sofa opposite Lauren and I. The others gave us some space by going into the kitchen.
“I’ve had my heart broken before too” Beau started to say, I was about to interrupt him too before he told me to wait. “I know it’s probably not the same heart break. But I know what it feels like to not be yourself” he told me. I moved my hands around signing to Lauren, to Beau it probably looked like I was just making pointless motions.
“I’m sorry you’ve gone through that. But it isn’t the same” Lauren told him what I signed. He shook his head laughing.
“Of course it’s not the same. Every heart break is different. No one has the same reason” He paused for a little before carrying on. “I was in love with my ex-girlfriend. We had been together for almost 2 years. She didn’t believe in what I did, making the videos. She thought it was all a joke. She left me because I wanted to keep making videos. And look where it’s gotten me” He said. “Everything has a reason, whether it’s good or bad. And sure, you’re hurting now. But you’ll learn to love again. It takes time, no one expects you to move on so quickly. You have all the time in the world” What Beau was telling me was meaningful, he was right. I turned to Lauren and signed exactly what I wanted to say.
“Are you sure you want to tell him?” She questioned me. I shook my head and signed again. “Okay” She said and left the room. I looked at Beau with a faint smile. He smiled back, but it wasn’t one of his usual smiles. Lauren came back into the room with Luke and Jai, and they both sat either side of Beau. I nodded to Lauren to tell her I was ready for them to know.
“Paisley is, was,” she corrected herself “with this guy Jase. They started dating when they were 14. They met in high school. They did everything together, they were high school sweethearts” Lauren paused and frowned at the memories of Jase and I.
“You sound so perfect together. So what happened?” Jai asked, he was curious I could tell.
“At the start of summer, Jase had just go off from work. He was on his way home when someone shot him” Lauren told the three guys, who were staring at me with wide open mouths. “Paisley found it really hard to deal with. I didn’t see her over the summer much. She slept through the day and woke during the night” Lauren was getting upset, I could tell, but they needed to know. “She stopped talking when the shrink mom wanted her to see tried to get her to talk. She just wasn’t ready to talk” Lauren carried on and the guys listened carefully. “I’ve heard Paisley talk since, but she only ever talks to Jase. She refuses to talk to anyone else. Hence the needing to learn sign language part”
We sat in silence for a while, nobody said anything. It was nice, Luke, Jai and Beau were taking it all in. Beau was the first to speak.
“That’s why you cut?” He asked me. I put my head down, hiding my face. Even Lauren didn’t know about that.
“Wh.. what?” Lauren looked sad. She lifted my sleeves to reveal the many scars on my wrists. I saw her eyes water and she ran out of the room.